East Palo Alto homeowner whose house was badly damaged in airplane crash settles lawsuit

A day care center operator whose home was badly damaged in the crash of a small private plane in East Palo Alto in 2010 has settled a lawsuit she filed against the deceased pilot's estate and his employer.

Lisa Jones and six other family members and employees filed the lawsuit against the estate of Douglas Bourn and Palo Alto-based Tesla Motors Inc. in Santa Clara County Superior Court in 2010.

Jones' house on Beech Street was partly destroyed when it was hit by a wing of a Cessna 310 piloted by Bourn as it crashed on the morning of Feb. 17, 2010. Jones had operated a day care center, Eppie's Day Care, in an adjacent building.

Bourn, 56, of Santa Clara, a senior electrical engineer with Tesla Motors, and passengers Brian Finn, 42, of East Palo Alto and Andrew Ingram, 31, of Palo Alto, who also worked for the electric-car manufacturer, were all killed in the crash.

The Cessna had taken off from Palo Alto Municipal Airport in heavy fog when it struck PG&E power lines and an electric tower at an altitude of about 50 feet at 7:54 a.m. and crashed.

A National Transportation Safety Board report concluded in 2011 that the likely cause was the pilot's error in failing to follow instructions for a standard instrument departure and failing to attain sufficient altitude to clear the power lines.

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