Continental Airlines Must Hand Over Documents

September 28, 2011 Updated Sep 28, 2011 at 7:07 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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September 28, 2011 Updated Sep 28, 2011 at 7:07 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Continental Airlines must hand over training and safety documents, a federal judge ruled Monday in the case over the crash of Continental Connections Flight 3407.

The families of the 50 victims who died in the crash are calling it a major victory.

Continental must hand over documents related to training procedures, salary structure and safety policies, said lead attorney for the families Daniel O. Rose.

"Our job in representing the families is to overcome those hurdles and to show Judge Skretny why those hurdles are without merit and that we should be able to get that discovery and those documents," said Rose.

A spokesperson for Continental Airlines declined comment.

Rose said Judge William Skretny's decision will help the trial move forward more quickly and could be finished by late next year.

The families hope the documents will prove their claim that regional carrier Colgan Air, which operated Flight 3407 on Continental's behalf, had lower training and safety standards than its parent airline.

"Some of this information can shed light on our claims that Colgan operated in a matter that elevated financial gain above concerns for passenger safety," Rose said.

Rose added that the families will ask Judge Skretny for a similar ruling as it relates to documents from Colgan Air.