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. (TSLA) in Santa Clara County Superior Court in 2010.

The settlement was recorded in the court's docket on July 3. It averted a trial that had been scheduled for July 8.

Jones' lawyer, Charles Eshoo, and Tesla's lawyer, Timothy Ryan, could not be reached for comment.

Donald Honigman, a lawyer for Bourn's estate, said, "The docket speaks for itself," but said he could not comment on any details of that settlement or three other lawsuits that have been settled.

Jones' family house on Beech Street was partly destroyed when it was hit by a wing of a Cessna 310 piloted by Bourn as that plane 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 maker, were all killed in the crash.


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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.

The report said there was near-zero visibility at the airport at the time and Bourn was told by a flight controller that if he took off, it was at his own risk.

The three men were on their way to a business meeting in Hawthorne, Calif.

The three previously settled lawsuits were filed in San Mateo County Superior Court against Bourn's estate and Air Unique Inc., a company that Bourn operated and that owned the Cessna.

The suits were filed by Ingram's parents, by Finn's ex-wife and child, and by East Palo Alto residents Ervin and Pinkie Hudleton, whose carport and car were damaged in the rash.

Still pending in San Mateo County Superior Court is a lawsuit filed against Bourn's estate and Air Unique by another neighbor, Jose Cortez-Herrera, and his wife, daughter and two granddaughters, who say the bulk of the plane came to rest in front of their home.

They say the house was damaged and they suffered emotional distress. In addition, the lawsuit alleges, the two grandparents and two granddaughters, then 3 and 6 years old, were injured as they sought to escape from the crash by going over a six-foot slat fence from their backyard into a neighbor's yard, while the girls' mother was trapped in her room.

That lawsuit is scheduled for a settlement conference on Nov. 13 and a jury trial on Dec. 2, according to the court's docket.