Family Drops Lawsuit Over SFO Runway Death In Asiana Crash

The parents of a teenage girl killed by emergency vehicles responding to the crash of an Asiana Airlines jet at the San Francisco International airport dropped their lawsuit against the city on Friday.

"The parties have reached a confidential settlement on mutually agreeable terms," said Gretchen Nelson, a lawyer representing the Chinese parents of Ye Meng Yuan, 16. Nelson declined to say if the family filed other lawsuits against the airline or Boeing, which manufactured the plane.

The parents' lawyers formally dismissed the lawsuit Friday in federal court. The city attorney's office said no money was paid to the family to dismiss their lawsuit.

"We're grateful for a dismissal that will spare everyone involved the added heartache and costs of litigation, which we believed from the beginning to be without legal merit," city attorney Dennis Herrera said.

Herrera said the "heroic efforts" of San Francisco firefighters and police saved hundreds of lives after Asiana Flight 214 clipped a sea wall on approach to San Francisco and burst into flames on the runway on July 6, 2013. Rescuers pulled five passengers from the burning plane that took off from Seoul with 291 passengers and 16 crew members aboard.

In the end, three teenage girls died and 180 others passengers and crew were injured.

Two of the fatalities were sitting in the tail section of the plane, which snapped off when it hit the sea wall.

Ye Meng Yuan was run over by two rescue vehicles while she lay injured and covered in foam on the runway. The San Mateo County coroner determined the girl's death was caused by the rescue vehicles.

U.S. safety investigators blamed the pilots, saying they bungled the landing approach by inadvertently deactivating the plane's key control for airspeed, among other errors.

But the National Transportation Safety Board also said the complexity of the Boeing 777's auto-throttle and auto-flight director — two of the plane's key systems for controlling flight — contributed to the accident. The NTSB also faulted materials provided to airlines by Chicago-based Boeing, saying they fail to make clear the conditions in which the auto-throttle doesn't automatically maintain speed.

Dozens of other lawsuits involving the airline and the plane's manufacturer have been filed in the United States, but many foreigners aboard the flight are prevented by international treaty from suing the airliner in this country and must pursue their legal claims in Asia and elsewhere.

In March, 72 passengers settled their lawsuits for an undisclosed amount. Several more are still pending.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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