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Civil Complaint Filed Against Michigan Attorney Regarding Prohibited Solicitations Following Air Carrier Accident

On February 12, 2009, Continental Flight 3407 crashed on approach to Buffalo Airport killing all 49 people on board and one person on the ground. A subsequent National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation revealed that several law firms contacted the victims’ families in relation to crash litigation and possible lawsuits in violation of NTSB regulations. Title 49 United States Code (USC) section 1136(g)(2) prohibits solicitations by attorneys within 45 days after an air carrier accident. The United States Attorney’s Office, Rochester, New York, and NTSB asked the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General to assist with a civil prosecution of the law firms involved. On September 17, 2009, a civil complaint was filed in U.S. District Court, Rochester, New York, against Michigan attorney Carl Collins, III, alleging that he engaged in conduct which violated Title 49 USC section 1136(g)(2).