A jury in Lexington, Kentucky, awarded $7.1 Million to the family of a 39-year-old man killed when Comair Flight 5191 took off from the wrong runway at Lexington's Blue Grass Airport on August 27, 2006. After a four-day trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, the jury of eight returned the verdict in favor of the estate and daughters of Bryan Keith Woodward, who was en route from a business trip to his Louisiana home that morning. The pilots of Comair Flight 5191 took off from a runway too short for a commercial jet, and in the early morning hours of August 27, the airplane crashed and caught fire not far from the runway shortly after takeoff, killing forty-nine people on board. This case was tried by the aviation attorneys at Rapoport Law Offices, P.C. including lead trail lawyer David Rapoport, Paul Richter and Michael Teich.
Comair plaintiff Jamie Hebert could likely be the first person to litigate a loss of consortium claim in the state of Kentucky.
On October 9, 2009, United States District Court Judge Karl S. Forrester issued an order reinstating the loss of spousal consortium claim of Jamie Hebert, the last surviving spouse with a wrongful death claim against Comair for the August 27, 2006 crash of Comair Flight 5191. Ms. Hebert's husband, Bryan Keith Woodward, was killed when Flight 5191 crashed shortly after takeoff from Lexington, Kentucky.
On October 1, 2009 the Kentucky Supreme Court issued a ruling granting a surviving spouse the right to sue for loss of consortium damages in a wrongful death case following the death of their spouse, an issue thrust into the spotlight by the litigation surrounding the August, 2006 crash of Comair Flight 5191 at Lexington's Bluegrass Airport. Before this ruling was issued, Kentucky was one of only four states that didn't allow spouses to sue for these damages. Prior to this ruling, Kentucky allowed for the recovery of loss of consortium damages for a spouse of someone who was injured, but not someone who was wrongfully killed- a notion that Justice Noble, speaking for a unanimous Kentucky Supreme Court, wrote "defies common sense."