Continental Airlines Accidents

Continental Airlines Accident Lawyers

Seeking Fair Compensation for Victims of Airline Negligence

On February 12, 2009, just minutes prior to landing, Continental Connection Flight 3407 – a regional flight operated by one of Continental Airlines’ partners – plunged from the sky and crashed into a home at Clarence Center, New York. All 49 people aboard and one person in the home perished in the accident. In the wake of this tragedy, our attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman handled much of the wrongful death litigation arising out of the crash of Flight 3407.

This is just one example of the airline accident cases that we’ve handled over the years, many of which have involved negligence, design defects, or wrongdoing at Continental Airlines, now merged with United Airlines. At Baum Hedlund, we’ve won over $4 billion for injury victims, including over half a billion on behalf of airline accident victims. If you need to discuss a wrongful death or personal injury claim with an attorney, we encourage you to contact our team.

Contact Baum Hedlund at (855) 948-5098 or submit our online form. We serve clients nationwide from our offices in Los Angeles.

A Snapshot of Continental Airlines, Inc.

Continental Airlines, Inc. was headquartered in Houston, Texas, and had hubs in New York, Cleveland, Houston, and Guam. The airline began flying from El Paso, Texas to Pueblo, Colorado in July 1934 as Varney Speed Lines. In 1937, it changed its name to Continental Airlines and relocated its corporate headquarters to Houston, Texas in 1982 after merging with Texas International.

Continental Airlines was a member of the Star Alliance network and operated in North America, Central America, Asia, and Europe. It had U.S. alliances with Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Island Air, American Eagle (on select West Coast flights), Amtrak (on select trains in the Northeast U.S.), Continental Express and Continental Connection. Its international alliances included Aerorepublica, Emirates, EVA Air, Kingfisher, the SNCF French Rail and Virgin Atlantic.

Regional flights were operated by Continental Connection and Continental Express, under code-share agreement with Continental Airlines. Continental Connection was operated by CommutAir, Colgan Air, Cape Air and Gulfstream International Airlines. Continental Express is operated by Chautauqua Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines.

Continental operated more than 2,800 daily flights and serves 135 domestic and 132 international destinations. It employed over 45,000 employees and has annual earnings of over $3.5 billion. In 2010, Continental Airlines was acquired by United Airlines. All previous Continental flights now operate under the United Airlines name.

Continental Airlines Accident and Incident History

The following is a summary of the major accidents and incidents of Continental Airlines, including those involving Continental Express and Continental Connection:

  • Continental Connection Flight 3407/Colgan Air, Clarence Center, NY, February 12, 2009
  • Continental Airlines Flight 1404, Denver, CO, December 20, 2008
  • Continental Airlines Flight 475, Guadalajara, Mexico, September 16, 1998
  • Continental Airlines Flight 75, inflight mishap, Los Angeles to Hawaii, May 21, 1998
  • Continental Airlines Flight 1943, Houston, TX, February 19, 1996
  • Continental Airlines Flight 588, Denver, CO, April 27, 1993
  • Continental Express Flight 2574, Eagle Lake, TX, September 11, 1991
  • Continental Express Flight 2286, Durango, CO, January 19, 1988
  • Continental Airlines Flight 1713, Denver, CO, November 15, 1987
  • Continental Airlines Flight 603, Los Angeles, CA, March 1, 1978
  • Continental Airlines Flight 12, Kansas City, MO, July 1, 1965
  • Continental Airlines Flight 290, Kansas City, MO, January 28, 1963
  • Continental Airlines Flight 11, Unionville, MO, May 22, 1962

Continental Airlines Accidents and Incidents Handled by Baum Hedlund

Baum Hedlund has handled some of the largest Continental Airlines accidents, including:

  • Continental Connection Flight 3407/Colgan Air, Clarence Center, NY, February 12, 2009 (1 passenger represented)
  • Continental Airlines Flight 1404, Denver, CO, December 20, 2008 (7 passengers represented)
  • Continental Airlines Flight 75, inflight mishap, Los Angeles to Hawaii, May 21, 1998 (6 passengers represented)
  • Continental Airlines Flight 588, Denver, CO, April 27, 1993 (1 passenger represented)

For a free initial consultation after a plane crash involving Continental Airlines or another major airline, call us at (855) 948-5098.

  • A Major US Plane Crash $17.5 Million
  • A Major US Plane Crash $14 Million
  • Helicopter Crash $12 Million
  • A Major Foreign Plane Crash $10 Million
  • Best Law Firms 2021
    Best Law Firms 2021

    The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.

  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100
    National Trial Lawyers Top 100

    The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 recognized the law firms of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, the Miller Firm and Audet & Partners with the 2019 Trial Team of the Year award (in the Mass Torts category) for their work in the groundbreaking case of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson v. Monsanto Company.

  • Elite Trial Lawyers
    Elite Trial Lawyers

    NLJ and American Lawyer Media honor law firms and attorneys as Elite Trial Lawyers for their cutting-edge legal work on behalf of plaintiffs in practice areas ranging from mass torts to securities litigation.

  • AV Top Ranked Law Firm
    AV Top Ranked Law Firm

    Less than one-half of one percent of firms across the nation have achieved this ranking. A firm must have a high percentage of lawyers who have achieved the prestigious AV® Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell®.

  • Listed in Best Lawyers
    Listed in Best Lawyers

    Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.

  • Verdicts Hall of Fame
    Verdicts Hall of Fame

    The National Law Journal inducted Baum Hedlund into the Verdicts Hall of Fame for obtaining the $2 billion landmark verdict in the Roundup cancer case of Pilliod et al. v. Monsanto. The verdict was #1 in California and #2 in the U.S. in 2019 and is #9 in American history.

  • AV Rated
    AV Rated

    An AV® rating reflects an attorney who has reached the heights of professional excellence. The rating signifies the highest legal ability, and very high adherence to professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability, and diligence.

  • Super Lawyers
    Super Lawyers

    Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
    National Board of Trial Advocacy

    The National Board of Trial Advocacy is dedicated to bettering the quality of trial advocacy in our nation’s courtrooms and helping consumers find experienced and highly qualified trial lawyers.

  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers
    Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers

    Published annually, the Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers list recognizes the “best of the best” in this area of the law through nominations, research, and review by a board of their peers.

  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States.  Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements.

  • Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
    Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers

    The Bar Register is the definitive guide to the most distinguished law firms in America. It includes only those select law practices that have earned the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and have been designated by their colleagues as preeminent in their field.


Case Study: 6 Flight Attendants Represented in Major Continental Airlines Lawsuit

Continental Airlines Flight 75, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft, was en route from Los Angeles to Honolulu on May 21, 1998 when it experienced an unexpected pitch-up. The aircraft was climbing in smooth air with the No. 1 autopilot engaged when it began a sudden and hard un-commanded pull up. The captain reported that he immediately grabbed the control yoke and disengaged the autopilot in order to level the aircraft. During the pull up, and subsequent corrections by the pilot, nine people were injured, four seriously. There were 285 passengers, 10 flight attendants, and 3 cockpit crew onboard. The aircraft was not damaged.

The seat belt sign was reported to be on at the time of the upset. During the event, the aircraft pulled up suddenly, causing all who were not buckled-up to be thrown to the floor. There were a few more reversals of force as the pilot attempted to gain control of the aircraft. These forces caused three flight attendants and one passenger, who was in the aft lavatory at the time, to be bounced up into the ceiling and then slammed back against the floor. A flight attendant said that what followed was a ‘roller coaster’ type of movement. The captain later reported that during the upset the aircraft had gained 1,200 feet in altitude and lost 30 knots of airspeed before he was able to disconnect the autopilot and regain control. After the aircraft had been steadied, a few doctors on board attended to the wounded as the crew turned the aircraft back towards Los Angeles where it was taken out of service for detailed examination.

Following an investigation of the incident and an examination of the aircraft, the National Transportation Safety Board found that a contaminated strain gage lead to the “excessive autopilot initiated elevator movement, and excessive elevator actuation during recovery by the captain.” Investigators also reviewed maintenance records for the year preceding the accident and found over 50 discrepancies for autopilot systems. One item stated “A/C [aircraft] has a long history of pitch oscillations, both autopilots.” Investigators then discovered that this particular aircraft was involved in a similar accident in 1986, which resulted in one injury.

According to the NTSB, post-accident testing of the first officer’s control wheel sensor unit showed an out of tolerance and drifting null signal for the strain gage which provides pitch signal input to the No. 1 autopilot. Analysis showed the material was a silver based conductive substance, lying below a factory applied sealing layer, which was introduced during manufacture. The solder on the lugs and the wire used between the lugs and terminals was found not to be consistent with the manufacturer’s specifications.

In addition, the NTSB found that the failure of the airplane maintenance department to diagnose and correct these historical problems with the autopilot systems led to the in-flight disturbance. Also at fault, said the investigators, was the manufacturer’s inadequate quality assurance program.

Contact Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, P.C. by calling (855) 948-5098 or completing our online form.

Firm Reviews

What Our Clients Are Saying
  • Top Legal Minds in the Country

    “The Baum, Hedlund firm has some of the top legal minds in the country; they are driven, determined, trustworthy, ethical and passionate.”

    - From Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms
  • I Can’t Imagine a Better Law Firm

    “Multiple lawyers recommended Baum Hedlund to me and I have been consistently impressed with the quality of their work.”

    - Best Law Firms Survey
  • Diligent & Professional Representation

    “Thanks to your efforts I was able to recover from a tragic experience and turn my life around for the best.”

    - W.T.
  • Our Best Interest Was Always Number One on Your List

    “A special thank you to your Spanish-speaking staff for the extra effort put into this case. The language barrier was never a problem, and we are so very thankful to them. Your name holds much respect in our family.”

    - G.C. & C.C
  • We Have Never Met a More Wonderful Group of People

    “It is obvious that the people at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, & Goldman believe in what they do. And that you all really care about your clients.”

    - The B. Family

Contact Us Today

No Fees Unless We Win
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • +1
    Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter your city.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.