$17.8M awarded in Marine jet crash lawsuit

Dec. 28, 2011 at 7:34 PM
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SAN DIEGO, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- A federal judge ordered the U.S. Marine Corps to pay $17.8 million for the 2008 crash of a fighter jet into a San Diego home that killed four people.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller made the award after considering three days of testimony from members of the victims' family and evidence submitted by attorneys for the federal government, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, said the Marine Corps accepted responsibility for the Dec. 8, 2008, crash of the F/A-18D into San Diego's University City neighborhood that claimed the lives of Don Yoon's wife, mother-in-law and two daughters. Yoon was at work when the accident occurred.

The Marine Corps said the aircraft went down because of mechanical failure, as well as pilot and ground personnel error, the newspaper said. The pilot ejected safely.

KTLA-TV said the victims were Youngmi Lee Yoon, 36, Grace, 15 months, Rachel, 2 months, and Seokim Kim Lee, 59, who was visiting from South Korea.

The judge ruled the children's deaths robbed their father of "the comfort, companionship, society and love a young child is capable of providing to a new parent and, then, in later life," the TV station reported.

The judge allocated nearly $10 million to Don Yoon, nearly $4 million to his father-in-law and the remainder to the father-in-law's three adult children.

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