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Federal Government Sued Over 2008 Marine Corps Jet Crash

A Korean family is suing the federal government for compensation in relation to a Marine Corps jet that crashed into a University City neighborhood in 2008, destroying the family’s home.

In the crash, Don Yoon lost his wife Youngmi Lee, daughters Rachel and Grace, and mother-in-law Seokim Kim. All were at home when student pilot Lt. Dan Neubauer ejected and watched his F/A-18D fighter jet go down, incinerating two homes. He was cleared to resume flying four months later.

While the Marine Corps says the plane suffered a mechanical breakdown, it also admits that a series of bad decisions were made that resulted in the jet going down in a residential area on its way to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar instead of attempting to land at Naval Air Station North Island.

“The United States has admitted responsibility for the crash,” Kevin Boyle, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, told the Associated Press. “Now what they're fighting is the amount of money they need to pay.”

Boyle didn’t disclose the sum his clients were seeking, saying it would come out during the trial. In 1998, a Marine air crash killed 20 people near Aviano, Italy – families of the victims there sued the U.S. government and received a $40 million settlement.

Pictured: Don Yoon and wife

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A Korean family is suing the federal government for compensation in relation to a Marine Corps jet that crashed into a University City neighborhood in 2008, destroying the family’s home.

In the crash, Don Yoon lost his wife Youngmi Lee, daughters Rachel and Grace, and mother-in-law Seokim Kim. All were at home when student pilot Lt. Dan Neubauer ejected and watched his F/A-18D fighter jet go down, incinerating two homes. He was cleared to resume flying four months later.

While the Marine Corps says the plane suffered a mechanical breakdown, it also admits that a series of bad decisions were made that resulted in the jet going down in a residential area on its way to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar instead of attempting to land at Naval Air Station North Island.

“The United States has admitted responsibility for the crash,” Kevin Boyle, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, told the Associated Press. “Now what they're fighting is the amount of money they need to pay.”

Boyle didn’t disclose the sum his clients were seeking, saying it would come out during the trial. In 1998, a Marine air crash killed 20 people near Aviano, Italy – families of the victims there sued the U.S. government and received a $40 million settlement.

Pictured: Don Yoon and wife

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Comments
2

Wow, such a sad accident. I remember this so well. The pilot should have never tried to land that plane at Miramar, NEVER.

Dec. 12, 2011

One can only wonder who is doing the foot-dragging here. The Navy/Marine Corps is obviously liable. Maybe they don't like the price demanded--but why would they care? After it's OPM (other people's money, meaning ours) and it comes in unlimited amounts. Or is this aggrieved man just asking for what he is due and getting stonewalled?

All of this is just another example of what happens when local government sells its soul to a big military installation in order to get "billets" that prop up the local economy--or so it is thought. You will get examples of felony stupid moves like this one that take innocent lives unnecessarily. That base could be located in the middle of nowhere, not in the middle of San Diego, and a crash would be just a crash, not a tragedy.

Dec. 12, 2011

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