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Family of Asiana victim files claim against city of San Francisco

Source: Reuters - Thu, 9 Jan 2014 09:25 PM
Author: Reuters
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By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - The family of a teenage girl who was struck and killed by emergency vehicles in the aftermath of an Asiana Airlines plane crash filed a civil claim against the city of San Francisco, alleging gross negligence.

Chinese teenager Ye Mengyuan, 16, was covered in fire-fighting foam when the vehicle ran over her at the scene of the July crash at San Francisco airport. State prosecutors did not file criminal charges in connection with her death.

However, an attorney for the family filed a civil claim with the city earlier this week seeking unspecified damages. If the city does not resolve the claim within 45 days, Ye's family can file a formal lawsuit in court.

A spokesman for the San Francisco City Attorney's office declined to comment on Thursday. Gretchen Nelson, an attorney for the family, said state law dictates that a claim be filed within six months of the crash.

"She was the only child," Nelson said. "That is a significant issue. In China there is a one child policy and this was their one child."

Ye, who was on her way to summer camp in the United States, had been sitting toward the rear of Flight 214 from Seoul and survived the Boeing 777's crash-landing but died from blunt force injuries, officials said in the days after her death.

The scene where Ye was killed was "dramatically chaotic" with people rushing around and firefighters fearful the airliner might explode, a state prosecutor said.

According to the family's claim, two San Francisco firefighters saw Ye laying on the ground and alerted a supervisor, but they were instructed to move on and failed to mark her location.

About 15 minutes later, they ran her over, as did another emergency vehicle. (Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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