12.28.2011

government to pay $17.8 million to military jet crash family

In San Diego, a federal judge has ordered the U.S. government to pay $17.8 million to the surviving members of a family killed in a catastrophic jet crash: Gov't to pay family $17.8M for military jet crash.

Don Yoon lost his entire family when a Marine fighter jet crashed into his home in 2008, killing his wife Youngmi Lee Yoon, his young daughters Grace and Rachel, and his mother-in-law Seokim Kim Lee.

I can't imagine any amount of money that could bring comfort to a man who has basically lost everything, but hopefully Mr. Yoon can find some kind of peace. Believe it or not, government attorneys were actually trying to dispute how much the family should recieve:
The case was unique in that the government admitted liability but disputed how much should be paid to Yoon and his extended family. Government lawyers had put economic losses at about $1 million but left it up to Miller to decide how much should be paid for the loss of love and companionship.

Department of Justice officials declined to comment Wednesday.

During the trial, government attorneys offered their condolences to the family but questioned how much they depended on each other. The law does not allow victims to be compensated for grief, suffering or punitive damages.

The judge said the deaths of the two girls deprived Yoon of "the comfort, companionship, society and love a young child is capable of providing to a new parent and, then, in later life. By all accounts, the Yoon girls would have been raised with traditional cultural and family values emphasizing love and devotion to parents and family."
Yoon will be awarded about $9.6 million. His father-in-law, Sanghyun Lee, will be given $3.7 million, and each of Lee's adult children will receive $1.5 million for the loss of their mother. It hardly seems like enough. More here: Judge awards $17.8 million to family of military jet crash victims.