The San Francisco television station that erroneously reported the names of the Asiana Flight 214 pilots found itself in new legal trouble today.
In a lawsuit filed in a California district court, Ho Lee Fuk, a dentist living in Orange County, says his reputation has been besmirched by association with the crash and demands $4 million in compensation.
“Mr. Fuk is a hard-working Vietnamese-American who pays his taxes and donates thousands to charity,” says his attorney Ngô Mo Kok. “It’s an absolute disgrace that his good name has been dragged through the mud by these lazy journalists.
“My client has never piloted an airplane in his life, and has never even been to Korea. On the morning in question he was busy giving free dental care to orphans at his practice in Garden Grove.
“Since KTVU aired this report Mr. Fuk has revived numerous harassing phone calls, emails, and tweets ridiculing him for his role in this incident. The psychological damage alone should be worth millions.”
San Francisco’s KTVU has profusely apologized for airing a list of racist Asian names who were supposedly piloting Asiana Flight 214, which crashed on landing at San Francisco International Airport last week.
Clips of their news anchor reading names that phonetically spell phrases like “Some Thing Wrong” and “We Too Low” have gone viral on YouTube and social media.
According to the station, an NTSB summer intern mistakenly confirmed the names. However, Asiana says KTVU is ultimately responsible for the embarrassing report and is suing for damages.
The new lawsuit demands a full apology, $1.5 million in punitive damages, and $2.5 million in compensation for Mr. Fuk and his family, who have also been targeted for ridicule. In an exclusive interview his daughter, Won Tu Fuk, says the incident has had a negative impact on her teaching career.
“I’ve never had a problem with my name until this week,” she explains. “All of a sudden my middle school students started asking me if I was related to ‘that Asiana guy’ and made Asian driver jokes.
“Linking our family name to a plane crash is unacceptable and I hope my father gets everything he’s asking for.”