Jury Clears Cirrus In Lidle Crash

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Cirrus Aircraft was not at fault in the accident that killed Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and instructor Tyler Stanger in 2006, a New York court ruled on Tuesday. A six-person jury decided the wrongful-death suit after a four-week trial and three hours of deliberation. "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," said Bill King, Cirrus vice president of business administration, shortly after the verdict was announced. "We very much appreciate the hard work of the jury and the court in this matter. Our hearts are with the Lidle and Stanger families who are still grieving." Attorneys had asked the court to award $40 million to Lidle's survivors and $3.5 million to Stanger's family, alleging that jammed flight controls caused the accident.

Despite the jury's decision, however, the matter may not be settled. Hunter Shkolnik, the lawyer for the families, has asked the court to set aside the jury's finding, according to The Associated Press. Jurors were not allowed to hear testimony that would have supported claims that the airplane had mechanical problems, Shkolnik said. Lidle and Stanger were killed when they tried to complete a 180-degree turn along the East River in New York, and hit the side of a building.