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No charges against firefighters in Asiana 214 crash

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A firefighter responding to a San Francisco plane crash who ran over and killed a survivor covered in flame-retardant foam will not be charged. (www.bbc.co.uk) 기타...

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WALLACE24
WALLACE24 10
These days there is a lot of law, but very little justice. In this case justice prevailed. In my mind there would have to be some huge extenuating circumstances to charge the driver. I agree with Preach. The legal profession has earned it's present reputation.
Derg
How Ya doin Wallace?
WALLACE24
Just fine sir. I trust you are the same.
We have too many laws and too many lawyers. Our common sense has been rendered useless.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 0
Unless we find ourself in need of one, right?
WALLACE24
The NEED was created by them. I remember when locally our judges used common sense. Then a law was passed that they had to have a law degree. Common sense "out". Their personal interpretation of the law "in".
sparkie624
Anyway it goes, we have way too many of them, and they are self serving... Just look at congress and our judicial system... Everything is slanted in their favor and we don't need them...

Reminds me of an old joke: "Why has there never been a lawyer never been shark bitten?" - Answer: "Professional Courtesy" and there is a lot of comparisions to it. Our country would be a lot better off with out them.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum -2
None of this is the lawyer's fault.
PhotoFinish
It's all lawyers' faults. Laws written by lawyers and laws exploited by lawyers.

Not necessarily for justice but for mercenary gain, navigating through loopholes, to gain material wealth to buy fancy cars and extra vacation homes, etc. That a client gain justice or not, is incidental to the goal of greedy accumulation of wealth through any means necessary.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum -1
Lawyers, in the literal sense do write laws, but they don't originate the proposed bill. When a staffer is drafting the bill (either at the Member’s direction, or to pull something together to propose to the Member), they will send a request to the House or Senate’s Office of Legislative Counsel (OLC or “Leg Counsel”) and be assigned a lawyer to work with on turning the idea into legislative language. Therefore, the only actual writing a lawyer does is sort of editing the actual verbiage.

If you want to know who actually puts pen to paper, it’s nonpartisan staff lawyers who work for Congress who know the law they are affecting inside out. They do that under the direction of office staff for Members of Congress and congressional committees, who vet the bill with outside experts and advocates. Sometimes those advocates (i.e. lobbyists) propose changes in the form of legislative language. But did they write the bill? Probably not.
joelwiley
In California, special interests write legislation text, and shop for a legislator to sponsor the bill- usually with contributions veiled sufficiently to avoid obvious quid-pro-quo.
Yes, lawyers are involved, usually partisans of the monied party.

The Civics classes description of how laws are made, I take with a grain of salt for some reason.
PhotoFinish
Aren't you just saying that... legislators (many of whom are lawyers) and staff who work on proposed laws (many of whom are lawyers) write and vote on laws that then surprise, surprise ... ultimately benefit lawyers.

Didn't I already write that above?
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 0
No, that isn't what I said. The bills are originated and written and THEN turned over to lawyers who merely put it in legislative verbiage. They aren't writing the bill nor altering the meaning or content. It's more of an editing process.
PhotoFinish
The most common profession among legislators is lawyers. That laws have created a fantastic payday for lawyers could have nothing to do with lawyers being intimately involved in writing and voting on laws. Lawyers are so pure, and only concerned with justice, and do not desire easy money, and they certainly wouldn't write laws that help them and their colleagues make money when they return to private practice.
/end sarcasm/
AWAAlum
AWAAlum -1
They don't author the laws. I'm out!
akayemm
Dear friend PhotoFinish, your views about law, lawyers and legal system as prevailing in the USA are putting me, an Indian Lawyer, into a GREAT confusion.
And I seek your guidance to educate me better in this context.
I have stated in another comment that there are two branches in context of language of law. I repeat for your convenience.
One is called legislative drafting and another is interpretation of statutes(laws). Both work on different principles of language. Though interpretation is ALWAYS done by qualified lawyers and jurists, the legislative drafting MAY or MAY NOT be done by a person with formal qualifications in law.
The draftsman, as my friend Donna Peterson has so kindly explained, may be making an independent recommendation or may be working at the behest of some constitutional dignitary.
Every where, no exceptions, the legislative assemblies decide the final law.
ANOTHER aspect about persons with formal education in law. Such persons may belong to any kind of profession. May be executives, or businesspersons, administrators, city councillors, congressman/senator and so on. BUT may not be practicing lawyers. As our friend Donna Peterson claims to be one!
NOW comes my confusion being caused by your caustic comments about law, lawyers and legal system in the USA.
As I have understood, in your country ONLY one side has the right to be represented by a lawyer who dictates the proceedings. The Jury or the judge are mere spectators ! The other side is NOT allowed to argue ? Or they are not being represented by a lawyer ? Or the lawyer/s of the opposite side is ALREADY having some kine of settlement or agreement of NOT TO OPPOSE ?
This other side can be prosecutor in a criminal case, or the respondent in case of claims and so on.
In case of criminal trial, the criminal gets acquittal and in case of a claim, claimant wins in full and so on.
Further, lawyers decide the outcome desired and twists the law to that end? And the jury and the judge simply put their seal of authority. And this is not checked even upto the Supreme Court level ? All those judges ARE SO DUMB ?
Again it is the lawyer who decides what shall be the total "loot" and his/her share therein, be it in cash or kind or both ?
AND this practice is followed in all courts, state as well as in federal courts. From courts of first instance(trial) to Courts of Appeal to Supreme court, of states as well as of the USA ?
I earnestly solicit your views and guidance for my education !
Please ! !
And if it is an aviation portal and NOT about law ,
THEN STOP MAKING UNWISE AND SWEEPING COMMENTS ABOUT LAW AND LAWYERS AND LEGAL SYSTEM without having an iota of appropriate knowledge on the subject.
My humble suggestion !
PhotoFinish
The point is simple. Lawyers are overrepresented in the legislative process, both on the hiring as drafters of /consultants for laws. But particularly, in so far as lawyering is the most prevalent profession of legislators.

It is not surprising that the laws of the land increasing allow for more litigation an increased payout, both of which increase lawyers income.

I don't believe the two facts are unrelated. In fact I state cleary and emphatically that the two are intertwined in an incestuous and corrupt conflict of interest.

I don't mean to offend anyone, but neither is my aim to sugarcoat my message to be politically correct.
akayemm
Who elects Reps. and Sen. ? People like you.
Or there is some under hand undescribed system of election/selection/appointment ?
Out of 100 federal senators about 4 or 5 are LLB or LLM, 7 or 8 are 'JD' from a Law School. What does it prove ? Haven't done similar study for representatives so far!
If FAA or NTSB want to draw some technical or professional standards about aviation, will they consult ANY flier ? Or no ? Or it will ONLY be lawyers ? Even for VFR or IFR ?
Do you have ANY idea how laws about specialised professions or services or subjects are drafted ? In all probability, answer will be NO !
You have REFRAINED to say any thing about legal system or the practice of law in the courts as elaborated by me !
Is that how the Courts in the USA really work ? Only one side having the right to have a lawyer ? And fully controlling and regulating the proceedings ?
And the courts of law in USA are arena of politics , a third house after the Senate and House of Reps. ? The Congress in every state in USA consists of 3 bodies, Sen., Reps. and Courts ? And judges are ALSO congressmen ?
Please educate me .
PhotoFinish
Your numbers misrepresent the reality that there are many thousands of lawyers as reps throughout the country at the federal, state ad local level. That reality doesn't even consider that you may have undercounted federal senator lawyers. Even today there was another US Senator sworn in after a spacial election last week in NJ. He is another lawyer legislator to add to your list of undercounted lawyer types.

The impression you present doesn't capture the complete picture.
akayemm
Dear friend PhotoFinish, I read long ago that beauty or the fallacy of democracy is that you get the system(Government) that you deserve.
And I am a firm believer of this doctrine. To the hilt.
I guess you are getting the message.
PhotoFinish
They say democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.

The US has a history of close accountability to the people. Many have become resigned to a limited voice for the people. But that'll cycle around, eventually, to realign priorities.
joelwiley
The adage that comes to mind is
"anyone who loves either the law or sausage should not watch them being made".
akayemm
Agreed, my friend joel wiley.
And why such serious comments on subjects other than aviation ? And that too by those knowing nothing about the subject ?
Aviation portal, aviation related comments.
Right ? Every one !
joelwiley
The aviation industry is affected by more laws than just those of aerodynamics. At least those laws are not subject to corruption as are the more administrative ones which involve practitioners of the law. Would you care to educate me on the effect of corruption on the legal and administrative systems of India- aviation and non aviation?
akayemm
Every country has laws for checking corruption, a universal human trait ! These may vary according to local ethos. India is no exception. Nor can USA be !
In a field like aviation, as I am beginning to understand , there can be no place for dishonesty as far as engineering aspects are concerned. The way you have stated for your country.
I can not claim sufficient knowledge about Indian scene. Once in a while we read in the newspapers about getting licences on insufficient or fake documents. And action is taken . Luckily, such 'bad' pilots have not been involved in any incident/accident so far.
About excess legislation, I must mention that all this happens due to misplaced over enthusiasm of some 'bad' social elements.
Ages ago , it was just 'Ten Commandments' ! See, how the humanity has evolved !
May be all this is an endless or a futile debate !
That's all I can say. In a round about manner.
WALLACE24
But many times they tie directly into law and politics.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Just fyi, Donna Peterson never has claimed to "be one!". I simply have some knowledge from having worked in close proximity for a few years early in life.
akayemm
ThanX, my friend Donna Peterson.
I stand corrected.
akayemm
Dear friend WALLACE24, unwittingly you have stated a famous quote of the legal circles.
" There is no justice in law ".
I will prefer to leave its interpretation to you friends, as each one finds it fit !
WALLACE24
It was "wittingly". Lol
akayemm
Sorry, WALLACE24, what you said was ofcourse done wittingly. But the similarity of words used by you with the famous quote happened unwittingly !
Unless you WERE familiar with the quote already !
:-)
joelwiley
I prefer Clarence Darrow as one source. 8-)
WALLACE24
Great minds....... Lol
captainjman
The only issue I have with this decision not to bring charges against the firefighter is that people had to really think about it first. It shouldn't even be a question. Don't get me wrong, if there was a blatantly obvious reason to investigate then of course it should be -

Think how the firefighter felt all this time waiting for the decision whether he will be charged or not. Think about the reporters stalking him, being rude to him, sticking cameras and microphones in his face.. in his families faces. Think about how he felt being relieved from duty until the investigation was concluded. Think about how he didn't sleep at night, unable to eat, or eating too much (whichever soothed him), think about how on edge he has been.. the possible fights with his wife/significant other,

What should have been done is a statement saying that he did nothing wrong, and that he can keep working, with the full support of the fire department, city officials, etc.. and say that they will just make sure there was no criminal intent to kill the victim.

I think its gross that the lawyer said that they will be going after him in civil court for wrongful death. This isn't a clear blue sky, daylight conditions, normal driving conditions, it was a crash scene with debris, foam, havoc.... and the driver was just trying to get to the scene to save as many lives as possible.

I feel horrible for the death of those killed - I really do - but they never should have even thought about criminal charges, and just like its not possible to sue the federal government- you should not be able to sue a firefighter who did the best he could and didn't do something on purpose.
akayemm
Dear friend Jason Feldman, I fully concur with you about keeping the truck driver out . BUT the main problem is two fold. Firstly what was the EXACT question before the investigators ? Secondly, prima facie, the cause of death of the girl was due to being run over by the truck.
Some times the investigators try to find the wrong doer while at other times they do the opposite ! To absolve the visible ones ! Both modes involve process of elimination or inclusion using probabilities.
That is why I raised the point of exact question.
We all know that when ever some one suffers a loss of any kind, damages are sought as matter of compensation. And then starts a marathon, a tug of war ! Of how much? From whom? And so on .
MHO
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I think typically police, firefighters, etc., are suspended with pay or without pay, depending I imagine upon the issue, pending the investigation's outcome. A statement stating "he" did nothing wrong is just not possible when it's uncertain.
sparkie624
I Firmly feel that did nothing wrong... There is no way they could have known or suspected at that time that someone was expelled from the a/c at that angle... Even thinking about charges is liberal stupidity.
WALLACE24
Next time the responders will finish their lunch before heading to the scene.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
Anyone remember The Good Samaritan Act? Good Samaritan laws are laws or acts offering legal protection to people who give reasonable assistance to those who are injured, ill, in peril, or otherwise incapacitated. In some cases, Good Samaritan laws encourage people to offer assistance (duty to rescue).[1] The protection is intended to reduce bystanders' hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death. It's a shame that only covers bystanders but not professionals, i.e., firefighters, paramedics, doctors, etc.

My only point above is, somewhere there is a question as to culpability, and it has to be officially determined who in order to set the matter to rest.
joelwiley
FYI, the firefighter is 'her'.
captainjman
FYI - my ideals are gender neutral
joelwiley
Understand the gender neutral generality ideal, but this is a specific instance.
No harm no foul.
captainjman
Wait - now I am confused - what do you mean "no harm no foul? Are you talking about political correctness? I sincerely want to know what you are talking about because I missed the point. Please, indulge me, what did I miss here... I feel like something went over my head here and I want to know what I did/said/etc...
joelwiley
Sorry to have been obscure. PhotoFinish said it better than I in his reply to you post.
PhotoFinish
Roughly translates as 'No offense meant'. Don't worry about it.

It was just an 'in case you didn't know' the driver was a she.

No big deal. That's what he meant.
StymieHo
Funny reading the threads. It's nice to see someone defending lawyers, although I am not certain they deserve any support, especially the slimebag representing this girl's family.

He was not surprised that the DA found no criminal charges.... In fact, he said the whole point here was to go to civil court, not criminal. Allow me to translate: It's not about justice, it's about a shit-wad of money $$$$$$.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Try and view it from a parents' perspective. Had it been your daughter on the tarmac, you just might feel it wasn't just and I refuse to believe any parent would believe any amount of money would replace their child. They have a right to be heard. They've lost their child. And they deserve to be represented and the attorney taking their case is doing his job.
WALLACE24
She is dead because of Asiana. Bigger $ available from tax payers of San Fran. Probably get zero from the crappy foreign airline.
sparkie624
You are exactly right... If the crew of the plane had flown the plane instead of looking at the scenery they would be here today and so would be everyone else.
sparkie624
Wrong Place, Wrong Time... Sue the Captain, not the fire fighter... He was the cause. Sure they lost their charge. Charging the fire fighter is like suing the installer of a concrete posts because he 10 years ago installed them in front of a store to prevent a car driving through them... But yet, some idiot ran into them, killed themselves and the family sued everyone from the designer of the building, installer of the posts, and the person who owned the stores.... yes that really happened and the driver was more than 3 times the legal limit for driving.

[This poster has been suspended.]

Doobs
Then, while you're at it, go after the aircraft manufacturer! That should plump up their wallets!
preacher1
One thing this story needs to HIGHLIGHT. There will be no CRIMINAL charges brought but it mention, sort of low key, that a civil suit will be forthcoming, and that is sad.
Derg
How ya doin Wayne? What you make of this Bart strike over in SF?
preacher1
Yeah, but the sleazebag lawyer is going to pursue civil action.

[This poster has been suspended.]

stevemondral
Hope the lawyer does not win. The thought that first responders would approach a future crash and having to be concerned about liability issues rather than the rescue operation is very disturbing.
joelwiley
The lawyer will win:
a) his suit prevails- he gets a cut (usually a third, sometimes more)
or
b) his suit fails- but he gets a lot of face-time advertizing.
Derg
Lawyers can be good with morals. Lawyers can also be the scum found in the deepest sewer you can imagine. This type of lawyer has the same goals in life as the cockroach and the rat.
joelwiley
That is grossly unfair to roaches and rats which occupy their own ecological niches.
The class of lawyers in your characterization are a waste of oxygen IMNHO
akayemm
Pleeeeeeez ...
My friend preacher1. Blame the the guys who will retain/seek the lawyer/s. Not the lawyer/s who is/are retained.
I firmly hold that to use law any and every lawyer will charge reasonably.
BUT to look for the loop holes, s/he is entitled to charge for the extra labour involved.
In short, if you want to use law for your need charges will be reasonable, BUT to subserve your greed , charges will be high since loop holes of law will be needed.
No further defense.
:-)
preacher1
preacher1 12
In this country, over the last several years, lawyers have brought this general reputation upon themselves. Myself and most here know that there are bad in every profession that put the rest in a bad light and the legal profession has progressed to that point here. That is why you have been the ire of some in this column. Lawyers here are advertising heavily on free consults, contingency only fees and letting the public know they are after big money, that an injured part may be entitled to such and such. I cannot fault a man for advertising his skill or profession, but the term ambulance chase is not undeserved as far as how some of them act. It is one thing for a lawyer to take a justified case after being contacted by an injured party. It is another for one to actively solicit such business. Just my opinion.
akayemm
Dear friend preacher1, every one (professional) tries advertising in many forms and free service or acting pro bono is one of the most favourite ways. Think critically on a wider horizon !
Like I always try to remind, lawyers do or try to do what the clients ask to be done.
Let me remind an easy and every day example.
A manager is asked to make a study and give opinion. And the manager works hard and makes a thorough study as best s/he has learnt. Gives candid vies and suggestions. The management evaluates it and makes modifications. Now this manager is asked to execute the modified project. And being a true professional s/he executes the plan as handed down by the management which IN ALL probability is way different to what s/he recommended. It can even be different on ethical level too.
Same holds valid for every professional, medics or lawyers and all others. The lawyers give honest views/opinion as they understand best. But it the client who decides the end result and the lawyer is duty bound to try to achieve it !
And that is why a lawyer is never tried for defending a criminal while if any one else does it s/he will be tried along with for being an accomplice ! No ?
I rest my case here, Your Honour !
preacher1
That's the way it ought to be but in a lot of cases over here you have the lawyers actually hunting down the eventual clients and making big promises in an action that the client may not have pursued initially and that is what has given a bad rap to many in our justice system over here. As I said, there are unscrupulous folks in many professions that prey on otherwise innocent victims and then stir up righteous indignation and proceed. Those folks have nothing to lose but time and everything to gain. It will never be a perfect world again. The serpent fouled the garden of eden.LOL
akayemm
ThanX my friend preacher1 for mentioning " ... there are unscrupulous folks in many professions that prey on otherwise innocent victims ..." et al.
You made my day, my friend.
Derg
The problem Mr Mittal is pure evil and greed, it is part of the human condition. Stupidity, hubris and just plain bloody minded pride. All part of the mix.
akayemm
ThanX my friend Roland Dent.
As good pilots or good humans and bad ones both emerge from same society , same holds valid for lawyers. Every where.
I have been repeating, when asked for an opinion EVERY professional gives honest and correct answer, as per the book ! But who decides the action ? The employer, the retainer, the one who hires the services.
The Q can be , 'Should a true professional accept such an assignment ? '
Look deep into every day life. Dubious assignments are given and accepted.
ThanX to the eternal Serpent/Devil !
PhotoFinish
No loopholes necessary. There are wide gaping holes created by lawyers who become legislators and write laws thar benefit lawyers.

We need tort reform. Maybe a loser pays rule might help.
akayemm
Dear friend,PhotpFinish, legal systems all over the world need reforms from the point of view of the ever changing local standards/needs. What ever the reasons be. USA, UK, Russia, China, Somalia at al. and India included. I am including judicial reforms too in the legal reforms. I have recently learnt that functioning of Grand Jury system in USA is under a great debate . Especially in the context of the influence the DA's office has on it and its deliberations(out come/decisions)!
Tussle between politicians and people is natural.
About laws being FOR lawyers, I have difference of opinion. Every where the laws are drafted 'generally' to benefit a few who may be industrialists(the financiers to politics and politicians), certain politicians from every walk of life and the like.
I know you will prefer to disagree. So, be my honoured guest .
About the art of drafting laws. let me tell you all an interesting facet of Legislative drafting and the art of Interpretation of laws !
Will you believe that both are DIFFERENT branches of legal system. And follow different rules of language.
The draftsman tries to make the canvas of application as large as possible while the interpreter tries to do the opposite !
I repeat, be my guest to disagree in your own way !
Derg
There is a God.
PhotoFinish
Woot! woot!

Now what about them Part 129 pilots?
sparkie624
Prosecute them....
sparkie624
Why was this ever brought up... That should have never even been a consideration... they should however file charges against the pilots. Someone died as a result of the pilots neglect. He should be held on "Involuntary Man Slaughter" Charges.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Not sure, but I think the monkeywrench in this is the fact the girl was alive on the tarmac - a survivor of the crash. She died because the firefighter ran her over.
joelwiley
Not to put too fine a point on it, but she was on the tarmac (and not in the terminal) because the pilots missed the runway.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 0
So what you're saying is... who's to blame, the one who's at fault for putting her on the tarmac to be run over, or the one who actually ran her over. Sounds kind of like shared blame. But, BUT, that's a huge over simplification. Most people here seem to think it's pretty clear, but personally I feel it's hugely complex. It's like when a cop makes a traffic stop, walks up to the car, and is subsequently hit and killed by a passing car. Is it the guy who was stopped who was at fault for putting him there? I don't think so.
joelwiley
In a word, yes.
There is a debris strewn tarmac in which sits a burning plane which recently had 300+/- souls aboard. The objective is to douse the flames so the 300 +/- souls are not incinerated.
That means running over the debris- that there was a live body in the debris field coverer with foam is truly unfortunate. The driver was not to blame.

Sad as it is, she was colateral damage.

Iffy history: Suppose the driver had seen, stopped and moved the victim. The lack of timely intervention on the directly led to its explosive increase which. in turn, lead to the incineration of 127 souls. Would the driver be at fault for those 127?
PhotoFinish
Actually not a valid comparison.

Imagine instead a bus driver (afraid of turning into driveways manually without driveway autodrive) after a long overnight trip, misjudged the driveway to the bus terminal and drives the bus off a cliff. All bus terminal driveways would drop off a cliff on either side.

Everyone evacuates the bus, but leave one girl for dead*, lying near the bus. View of the girl is obstructed. She is run over by a firefighter who couldn't see her if she tried.

* please note that her best friend and travel buddy is one of the only other two people to die, and wasn't well enough herself to ask about her friend lying in the brush near the bus, abandoned after everyone else evacuated.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 0
Were you there? You know as fact the girl didn't ask about her friend before she herself died? But that's irrelevant. I stand by my hypothesis. The NTSB will determine the cause of the crash, but I don't believe the issue of the girl is that clear cut. " It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma: but perhaps there is a key" - Winston Churchill
PhotoFinish
It's called inductive reasoning. While I couldn't possibly prove it, I can come to a strong conclusion based on the evidence.

1. Both were among only 3 fatalities out of over 300 passengers. This lends credibility to the idea that the two were among the most injured.

2. It is common for severely injured trauma victims to lose consciousness.

3. You even have the case of the one girl who did not move from the spot where she dropped or was dropped as people scattered from the plane. The violent crash, the fire, the people screaming and running, the gigantic fire apparatus. Either none of it scared her enough to even twitch a muscle, or she was unconscious. That one is easy isn't it.

4. The other friend eventually succumbed from her injuries. This eventuality is consistent with severe injury and loss of consciousness soon after the trauma.

5. There were even passengers that had to be carried off the plane and away from the plane across the airfield to safety. It is likely that those who were moat severely injured (eventually succumbed to hour injuries and/or were left for dead just outside the plane) might have been among those carried away.

6. I might even stretch a bit and imagine that the abandoned girl was one of many who was assisted out of the airfield (ie. possibly thrown out the emergency slide unconscious.) but then left behind near the plane, when everyone scattered either already carrying someone, or more interested in preserving their own hide than the injured girl on the ground.

7. Maybe we'd all be better if she had been left in her seat inside the plane. Then everyone would've understood causality better. It would've been clearer that the pilots' actions were the ultimate cause of the poor girl's death (in fact the ultimate cause of the poor girls' deaths.)

If the pilots had been proficient and capable of flying the aircraft, and in the condition to be in the command of an intercontinental airliner with over 300 souls onboard we wouldn't behaving these discussions.
akayemm
Dear friend PhotoFinish,
# 6
# 5
# 6
May be the sequence of the main likely plank of the prosecution(including co prosecutor on behalf of this deceased girl). All other bullet points given by you will also be the part of arguments plus many more .
MHO
And who knows, what all may emerge during December hearings before NTSB !
Asiana are bound to talk TOO MUCH and expose their weaker side in the process.
We all must have heard or read the saying in junior schools, 'Empty vessel makes much noise' .
Every thing, well before the court case begins !
PhotoFinish
Who are they going to prosecute? the passengers who ran for their lives and left the girl behind for dead? the crew who had their hands full carrying away other injured passengers/crew (I'm assuming best case scenario)?

The firefighters had a massive intercontinental airliner crashed and burning in their airfield, actively involved in fire and in great danger if exploding and causing mote damage, death, destruction and injury than the crash alone.

It is not unreasonable for the firefighting crew to do their job and stop the immediate danger of the plane on fire BEFORE they tend to bodies that are left for dead.

For liability, they should be looking to the pilots and airline. But the relatively smaller pockets there due to international convention means that some filthy lawyers will be looking for money elsewhere (ie. firefighters, city, airport, etc. - basically anyone not covered by the international air carrier convention).
PhotoFinish
As far as the pilots, I'd would've preferred some outside the box CRM, like:

"I'm unusually fatigued this morning. Didn't get much sleep during our crew rest. And it's my very first flight as instructor. You're not an instructor yet, but like me you're a captain with years of experience on this plane. Can you join us on the cockpit on approach, instead of sitting your rump in firs class. I want to make sure our senior captain doesn't kill us or some of the passengers. He's barely got 30 hours on this bird."

The concept of saving face makes such a statement very difficult to say. But maybe there needs to be more worry about saving lives than worry about saving face.
sparkie624
The fire fighters were in no way to blame... Thinking so is stupid
Dbilski268
It's only about $$$. Otherwise, the Only Law Suit Would Be A Torte Case Against The Asiana Airline For An Unqualified, Inexperienced Flight Crew And Not The First Responders Rendering Aid To Victims Harmed By The Company's Employees
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I do lean towards the opinion stated by most here, but I also try to see both sides. I can't help but think were it my child out on that tarmac, I wouldn't just throw my arms out and say "oh well" ... I think I'd have to take some action as well. I completely understand the attempt. Not saying it's right, just that I get it.
WALLACE24
Either you accept it as an accident with no fault, you think they didn't do their job properly ( like the pilots ) or you just want money. Take your pick.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 0
You're completely taking emotions out of the equation, and you just can't do that.
PhotoFinish
I like taking the emotion out if it and considering the situation clearly.

I'm not sure that I'd want firefighters second guessing their training to attack the fire as quickly and as strongly as possible.

In this case, in hind sight, maybe it would've been better if the first fire rig crew who spotted her stopped to check on her and continued with their firefighting duties with her 'body' on their fire rig.

But next time there may be dozens of casualties on the airfield, some living and others dead. And if the firefighters don't advance to their trained duty to fight the fire, a hundred ir more passengers may perish inside the plane, possibly including a friend ir family member of one of us, or even one of us.

You can't look at the decision in hind sight. You have to consider the training and protocols, especially if you're a first responder or an investigator (NTSB). You would want them to create the best protocols and training for the likely future events, not a reactionary protocol that is too concerned with an previous incident, but that creates more future victims in future incidents because of being overly cautious due to previous litigation from 'greedy' or just 'emotional' family.
PhotoFinish
The moral of the story is don't get left behind after an evacuation of a burning plane, when everyone else is running away for their lives.

The firefighters who arrive to fight the fire on a commercial airliner are too occupied with their firefighting duties and are apparently trained to ignore casualties left for dead on the airfield, after all other passengers, crew and earlier first responders evacuate the dangerous scene.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I just went back and re-read an earlier story on the tragedy and it states the girl was covered in foam. If that is the case, the firefighter who ran her over clearly isn't at fault. But - what about the guy who covered her in the foam? That's kind of odd.
PhotoFinish
The firefighters weren't covering the girl in foam. They were covering in foam any debris, particularly the crashed shell of the airliner, as well as any other surface including the ground that was potentially covered in jet fuel, to prevent continued combustion and to suppress fire.

The body on the ground was amid any debris and become covered incidentally to stopping the plane from continuing to burn and preventing it from exploding.

The girl was a casualty of the difficult circumstances of the incident with about 300 potential victims. The priority was to get as many well people away from the dangerous shell of the former plane quickly, and to help as many of the injured people as could be helped with the resources available, that in any mass casualy incident will always be insufficient for the task at hand.

It is not incredible that there was one person that was not helped, it is miraculous that there was only one person who fell through the cracks of insufficient resources that were immediately available in the moments right after the crash, and that only three people in total that were on that plane when it crashed violently into the ground eventually died.
akayemm
Dear friend PhotoFinish, talking of fire fighting protocols, it reminds me to highlight the roles of two groups with in fire fighters.
One who are equipped to fight the fire and the second with SAR mission. Their task and therefore the equipment are totally different from each other.
Both are distinctly different in responsibilities and hence different in their respective approaches to the task.
Here we are talking about the member of the fire fighting group. Who had a job vastly different from rescuing.
This driver ought to be and will be viewed in similar context.
The death of the girl, qua this driver , an ACCIDENT.
PhotoFinish
I wouldn't necessarily divide them that way, although what you said was true. Every single firefighter is trained to remove people from burning building and other dangerous scenes.

The difference here is the massive numbers of victims. Expectations have to be readjusted in a mass causality incident.


In this situation it may have appeared to the firefighter crews, that the earlier rescuers may have left the 'body' on the ground as a causality of the incident, and went on to treat the treatable.

These firefighters were moving toward a burning plane and were circling it to cover it in foam to control the active fire that had engulfed it. Within few minutes of the crash, the forward passenger sections were engulfed in a fireball. The scene was an extremely dangerous and volatile situation.

It didn't occur to the 1 firefighting crew that saw the 'body' left behind on the ground, to leave the relative safety of their vehicle to check on/ move a 'body' just feet from an airliner engulfed in fire. It likely seemed more appropriate to put out the fire so that no others would be killed by the fire, including the very personal that had just run 'toward' the fire when everyone else ran away.

In a MCI incident these things are possible. Namely, bodies left behind for dead, while the limited hands help the living. So it would be reasonable for other responders to see a 'body' lying on ground after rescuers depart the area to have been left behind as beyond help.

There is no duty to endanger oneself to save another. Brave individuals do so everyday, but they are going beyond the call of duty to do so. In fact, the first rule if reuse is to assess the scene and not put yourself in a dangerous situation and add to the casualty list, and create more victim requiring assistance.


So, I wasn't joking when I advised to not get left behind after an evacuation of a burning plane, when everyone else is running away for their lives. The rules in mass casualty are different.
PhotoFinish
Keep in mind, these fire fighters would've risked their own lives and boarded the plane and attempted to rescue any passengers still in there, had the evacuation not been announced as complete.

So the 'body' on the ground that was unmoving and unresponsive was considered dead by the only crew to have seen her. Had she shown any signs of life, they would've been the ones endangering their own lives to get her away from the airliner engulfed in flame.
joelwiley
Just to add a couple things to the PhotoFinish comment below. The firefighters were performed different roles in the event. As a generalization, they all were trained in each of the roles and could perform any of them as assigned. While performing separate roles they are aware of the expectations of the other roles.

The drive was traveling through and over the debris field in order to reach the fire. Tragically, in doing so, the driver altered the girl's status from victim to debris. Harsh, I know.
sparkie624
Short Simple and to the point.... It is that simple.... Even though the family probably feels the same... It would be different if the girl was standing up and facing the fire truck in the middle of the runway, but she was covered in the debris to begin with. As bad as it sounds, she probably would have died before being found with her exiting the plane injuries.
akayemm
Even civil action will have to be supported by sufficient irrevocable evidence. And that will be from the detailed report of NTSB and others if any !
joelwiley
My friend, I must, with respect, disagree.

The civil actions with which I have had personal experience as an observer, juror, or defendant, did not revolve about irrevocable evidence. Evidence presented was 'cherry picked' by one side or the other and presented in a manner to affect emotional rather than logical and deliberative considerations. Other cases could best be described as outright extortion to extract settlement revenues that the defendant pays just to avoid further litigation expenses.

From the posted article:
Anthony Tarricone, an attorney for Ye's family, said he was not surprised criminal charges were not filed.

"It's really not the subject of criminal prosecution," Mr Tarricone said. "It's properly the subject of civil action, which we intend to prosecute."


Ms. Ye's death was an accident as part of a greater tragedy. The civil action is being pursed for financial remuneration, not justice. Remuneration, I suspect on the part of Mr. Tarricone et al. The firefighter will be dragged through this just because she is a sting to pull to bring in the money.
akayemm
Dear friend joel wiley you are right in your own way.
I can and will speak in general terms only
Who is seeking compensation or relief ? Not the lawyer who is merely a facilitator, for a payment ofcourse.
No more arguments from me.
WALLACE24
All compensation should come from Asiana. They are going after deeper and easier to reach pockets.
PhotoFinish
If it were about justice, they would be seeking criminal and civil action against the pilots and Asiana.

But since about money (specifically to line the pockets of the lawyers pushing the civil case forward) the case will be filed against the firefighter doing her job, the fire department, the airport and the city.

Just wait and see.

The theoretical bullshit about tgus being about the pursuit of justice is just that - complete BS.
akayemm
Dear friend FhotoFinish, the fire fighter truck driver ? No chance. Fire department as a whole ? May be depending upon details of the report. That too limited only to the girl crushed to death under the truck ! But many IFFFFFS .
Justice ? What will be the Grand Jury doing ? Dummies ? eh ? What about the public prosecutors ? On whose pay roll is the DA's office ? State or Asiana ?
Correct me if I go wrong. Some where you mentioned that no one will suffer any losses, the Insurance company will pay. Simple. Am I quoting wrongly ? Please do correct.
CaptainFreedom
A civil victory is very challenging in the case of no criminal charges. The OJ case was an exception, not the rule.
PhotoFinish
Actually not true. Every day there are civil payments from individuals who cause bodily damage to individuals who experience the bodily damage, with and without civil suits. Many of these are from auto crashes. Only in very rare cases are criminal charges filed against the driver of the vehicle causing the bodily injury.

Even more rarely is there bodily injury caused by the driver of an airliner to an individual who is then run over by a fire vehicle during the rescue /fire suppression operation, while lying on the airfield dying after being thrown from the plane. But it not difficult to understand how such a scenario could easily happen.

There is no question that Asiana will be paying a lot for damages. It is still unknown whether the Asiana pilots will even face criminal charges (which many here are upset about).

The question here is whether there is any liability for a rescue operation to accidently cause further harm to a dying victim of a major mass casualty (there were hundreds of injured) catastrophy?

What if they tried to save her and she still died? What if they just left her for dead and she still died (but they didn't run over her)? All would have the same outcome. In each case the family loses their teenage daughter likely the only child of her parents and only grandchild of her grandparents.

This was a chaotic scene with hundreds of victims. All but three were rescued and survived. Only one was accidentally run over after the crash. All of it is a result of the original plane crash.
akayemm
Dear friend PhotoFinish, to my mind, the pilots ought to be charged for criminal negligence causing death. May not be like a homicide but definitely on the lines of causing death due to rash and negligent driving on road !
Rest will depend on the Prosecutors and the Grand Jury and the forces influencing them !
It will have nothing to do with law or the lawyers. But will depend on the ethics of people influencing the system !
Glick
If you live in the southeast, you will understand this, "one call that's all."
n8wgb
n8wgb 1
I'll leave the legal opinions to others, but has anyone done training in airport disaster response? The job of the foam truck is to clear the way for others to get into the scene by using it's foam to get as close as possible to the wreckage, as quickly as possible. This will include not stopping for injured people or fatalities in the area.

The job of the first response foam truck is to quickly get close and to knock down the fire, so others can follow. Period.

I've been in talks about what happens if you happen to run over someone on the way in. The answer is that it might happen, but without the foam on the wreckage and fire asap, many other passengers will not make it out. And other rescue can't start until the scene is at least somewhat cooled off. So...That driver did exactly what he was trained to do, as terrible as it turned out.
WALLACE24
Makes perfect sense to me. Some always give so others may live.
PhotoFinish
The girl was run over after the evacuation had been complete. She was not run over as the apparatus was racing to the scene, but as part fire suppression activities as the various fire apparatus were circling the plane in formation applying foam to the plane/fire. The driver that ran over the girl did not see her. In fact the driver could nit see her because the girl was covered in foam at the time she was run over.

There was another rig whose driver/operator(s) did see the discarded body of the girl on the ground, and ignored her since their job was fire suppression. Their fault was not to report the seemingly dead 'body' to their scene commander.

The fire fighters didn't know how many 'bodies' were abandoned in the chaotic crash and evacuation of a large airliner on the runway of an international airport in the THREE minutes before the apparatus arrived on scene.

You can't make decisions in hind sight. If at the time, they knew she was the only abandoned passenger and that she hadn't yet expired, different decisions would've been made. But under the circumstances, they did the best they could (apart from also providing notification to scene commander during the incident).

Probably nothing would've changed. The commander could easily and justifiably decide that all the fire suppression apparatus couldn't stop to check every abandoned 'body'. Maybe once they realize a minute later that she was the only abandoned 'body', an apparatus could've interrupted their fire suppression to check on her.

Even then, being aware of the girl was still alive, there weren't any free ambulances or free medical crews. They were all occupied with other severely injured passengers among the 300 walked, ran or were carried from the crashed airliner.

It would've have been reasonable to remove a fire apparatus from fire suppression duty on the scene of a widebody airliner crashed and on fite on the runway of a major international airport to move the girl's body and go looking for a medical crew to treat her.

Basically, no matter what, you're looking at lots of difficult decisions.

The only detail that seems clear to me is that, on such a beautiful afternoon, with a perfectly functioning airplane, with four professional pilots trained to land the plane onboard , the plane should've arrived on that runway without incident.
PhotoFinish
It WOULDN'T NECESSARILY have been reasonable to remove a fire apparatus from fire suppression duty on the scene of a widebody airliner crashed and on fire on the runway of a major international airport to move the girl's body and go looking for a medical crew to treat her.

All those firefighters were putting their lives on the line to get up close to an airliner on fire, in order to put the fire out. This would be to minimize the further damages, injuries and deaths an explosion could've caused to the many passengers, and responders and equipment scattered on the airfield that afternoon.

There was not ONE injured person but up to 300 or more passengers, many of whom were severely injured and all who were out scattered on the airfield in every direction. It seems mord if a miracle that there weren't other tragic accidents.

But not because of the responders. They didn't cause the incident.

The pilots crashed the plane.
The pilots delayed the evacuation until well after active fire was visible on the aircraft.
The crew failed to properly direct the passengers in the evacuation from the aircraft that was already involved in an active visible fire.
All that panic and chaos arising in passengers and crew had origins in the crash, and all the actions that led to the crash (approach stage) and all of the decisions taken by the crew in the aftermath of the crash (evacuation phase).

Sadly none of it should've even happened. There is no excuse for not having a perfect landing without incident.
egad
Under the circumstances, as i have heard them, criminal charges are not justified. A certain amount of civil financial liability is in order and the drivers employer should have voluntarily offered a reasonable amount of damages to bypass large lawyer share. Lawyers profit when someone is not only damaged, but "stiffed" as well. Exxon in Alaska is about the worst "stiffer". Dr. Jim.
joelwiley
IMHO your assertion "A certain amount of civil financial liability is in order and the drivers employer" is questionable. The existence of a deep pocket does not confer liability.
Just MHO.
egad
True, but when there is liability deep pockets (employer/insurance) pays, not the employee doing his job. As my Grandmother said,"Can't get blood out of a turnip". Dr. Jim.
joelwiley
You can, if trying generates billable hours.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
As mine said "But you can throw the turnip in jail."
jackmabry
If this had happened in China, I sincerely doubt if they could sue anyone! Nothing like using our legal system to get money you could never get in your own country.

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