Wash. jury awards $26M over plane crash deaths

SEATTLE (AP) - A jury has awarded $26 million to the families of three people killed when a small plane crashed near Arlington in 2008.

The single-engine Cessna went down en route from San Juan Island to Auburn when its engine failed. The pilot, Brenda Houston, of Enumclaw, and her 10-year-old daughter were killed, as was another passenger, Auburn spine surgeon Dr. Tory Becker.

In decisions issued in February and March, a King County Superior Court jury awarded $20 million in compensatory damages and $6 million in punitive damages against the company that made the engine. Aviation Law Group represents Becker's family and announced the award in a news release Monday.

Attorney James Anderson says the carburetor was defective, and even though the manufacturer, Avco Corp., had fixed the problem on new engines two years earlier, it didn't fix the problem on thousands of planes already flying.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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