A U.S. District judge has returned a lawsuit filed by the owner and operator of a Learjet that crashed at Columbia Metropolitan Airport last year from federal court back to state court in South Carolina.
Several months later, the jet’s California owner, Inter Travel & Services, and operator, Global Exec Aviation, sued the airport and jet manufacturers arguing the designs of the CMA runway and the plane were defective.
The case was moved to federal court after defendants argued they were in danger of losing compliance with federal aviation regulations. U.S. District Judge Matthew Perry ruled there was no reason a state court couldn’t handle the case.
Defendants have 60 days to appeal Perry’s ruling.
While the National Transportation Safety Board has yet to issue a final report on the crash, officials said in preliminary findings that the Learjet was moving at about 156 mph when the pilots attempted to abort the takeoff, shredding the tires as the plane ran out of runway.