Gov't Appeals Jet Crash Judgment

The government files an appeal against judgment for the Yoon family

By Tony Shin
|  Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012  |  Updated 7:30 AM PDT
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Attorneys for Don Yoon and his family are calling the last minute appeal in a multi-million dollar judgment a

Attorneys for Don Yoon and his family are calling the last minute appeal in a multi-million dollar judgment a "slap in the face." NBC 7's Tony Shin reports.

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Verdict Reached in Jet Crash Trial

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Attorneys for a University City man who lost his family in a military jet crash are calling the last-minute appeal in a multi-million dollar judgment a "slap in the face."

A U.S. District judge awarded Don Yoon and his relatives $17.8 million for damages caused when  an F/A 18D crashed into the family's home.

On Tuesday, the government filed an appeal in the case.

Young Mi Yoon, 36, Grace, 15 months, Rachel, 2 months and Suk Im Kim, 60, were killed on December 8, 2008 after one of the engines on a FA-18-D Hornet died as a student Marine pilot headed to MCAS Miramar.

Young Mi's husband, who was at work that day, lost his entire family.

Yoon recounted his loss in a grueling two-day trial in December. He and his father-in-law sought a much higher $56 million settlement with the government.

On Tuesday, Yoon family attorney Kevin Boyle said he was surprised by the appeal which was filed on the last day to file the appeal.

"They could be doing this thinking the family will take less money because they won't want to wait so long for the appellate process," Boyle said.

Civil attorney Dan Gilleon calls the appeal a "delay tactic."

"What they're trying to do is just not pay on time, not pay this family," Gilleon said.

Gilleon said the $17.8 million judgment favors the U.S. government because the judge could have awarded much more.

But with an appeal, interest will be added each day the money isn't paid to the family.

"That's the downside for taxpayers and the downside for the U.S. government," Gilleon said.

The U.S. government has admitted sole responsibility for the crash and the deaths.

Another crash victim, Sunny Wu, is also waiting for a settlement after she lost her home in the crash.

Wu's insurance replaced her home last year. But she's hoping the military will compensate for their lost property and reimburse for the two years of rent they paid. She says she's filed all the proper paperwork.

“So far the military didn't pay me back a penny,” said Wu.  

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