Jury Decides for Cirrus in Cory Lidle Lawsuit
May 24, 2011 — A jury in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York decided Tuesday, May 24, that Cirrus Design Corporation’s SR20 aircraft did not cause the fatal accident in 2006 that claimed the lives of New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and CFI Tyler Stanger. Lidle's widow filed a $50 million wrongful death suit against Cirrus in 2007 alleging the plane was mechanically defective. However, after a four-week trial and a short deliberation period, the jury found the airplane manufacturer was not to blame when the aircraft Lidle and Stanger were flying in crashed into an apartment building on Manhattan's Upper East Side in October 2006.
In a company statement, Bill King, Cirrus vice president of business administration, commented, “Our hearts are with the Lidle and Stanger families who are still grieving. We’re gratified that the jury reached a decision that confirmed what the National Transportation Safety Board found and what we have always believed: The SR20 did not cause this accident. We very much appreciate the hard work of the jury and the court in this matter.”
The plaintiffs alleged that the crash was caused by a mechanical defect that prevented the pilots from controlling the aircraft. The NTSB concluded in its investigation that pilot error was the cause of the crash.
Nearly 5,000 SR-series aircraft with close to 5 million flight hours logged are currently in operation around the world, according to Cirrus.