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Montana Air Ambulance Company Blaming Controllers for Crash

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal judge in Utah is asking the Montana Supreme Court to help decide if an air ambulance company can blame air-traffic controllers for a deadly 2007 crash in Montana.

U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell says Missoula-based Metro Aviation Inc. settled claims with the families of a paramedic and a nurse who died in the crash. The judge says it’s not clear the company’s insurer can turn around and sue the federal government.

Metro claims air-traffic controllers based in Salt Lake City failed to warn the pilot his plane was descending too fast in Bozeman, Mont.

Federal lawyers want the case thrown out. They say Metro Aviation can’t sue air-traffic controllers because the company already admitted negligence by making settlements.

The Montana Supreme Court will settle that question.