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SignOnSanDiego.com: US To Pay Family $17.8M for Marine Jet Crash


Fergasun

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SignOnSanDiego.com: US To Pay Family $17.8M for Marine Jet Crash
SAN DIEGO — A judge on Wednesday ordered the federal government to pay $17.8 million to the relatives of four family members who were killed when a Marine fighter jet crashed into a University City home three years ago. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller said Don Yoon, whose wife, Youngmi; daughters, 15-month-old Grace and 7-week-old Rachel; and mother-in-law, Seokim Lee, perished in the crash, should receive $9.6 million. Miller also ruled that Sanghyun Lee, Seokim’s husband, should receive $3.7 million. Youngmi’s three adult siblings received $1.5 million each for the loss of their mother and sister. The amounts cover lost wages and property, as well as compensation for the loss of companionship, love and care of the four who died. Miller awarded Yoon $6.1 million in noneconomic compensation for the deaths of his wife and children. The total designated by Miller is far less than the $56 million the plaintiffs’ lawyers had sought.
Judge statement on opinion is in the article... haven't had a chance to fully read it.
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I always have a tough time when it comes to considering what is "fair" compensation in a case like this. I mean, $6.1 million for the loss of your children and your wife? I don't know. If I were to place a "value" on one of my kids, it would make the national debt look like chump change. Sad situation all the way around. I pray peace for the surviving family members.

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Per the case law (I just read the opinion):

What constitutes reasonable compensation for Plaintiffs’ recoverable losses and damages is the sole question to be determined by the court. In California, the measure of damages for wrongful death is addressed by statute and case law. California law allows a surviving spouse, among others, to recover damages in a wrongful death action. As a general matter, damages are measured by the financial benefits heirs were receiving at the time of death and those reasonably expected in the future as well as the monetary equivalent of the loss of the decedents’ advice, training, love, companionship, comfort, affection, society and solace or moral support.

The husband received: $1.2M for economic damages (ie. wages wife would've earned as a nurse with some reasonable assumptions on career advancement), $250k for her household services, $2M for "non-economic" damages in the past, $4M for "non-economic" damages in future, $1.3M for past and future "non-economic" damages of 15 month-old; $800k for past and future "non-economic" damages of 7-week old. In total that is... $9.55M.

I don't understand how the loss of a 7-week old vs. 15 month old results in $500k more damages related to the 15 month old. The family was very tight knit. I'd have a hard time putting money value on the emotional benefit I derive past and present from my children and wife.

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