Appeal Filed In Cory Lidle Cirrus Crash Case

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Cirrus Design Corp. on May 24 was cleared of liability in the October 2006 death of Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his instructor Tyler Stanger, and, Thursday, the plaintiffs in the case filed an appeal. The aircraft impacted a Manhattan building while attempting a turn that departed the area above Manhattan's East River. The widows of Lidle and Stanger allege that the Cirrus SR20 included a design defect in its flight control system that caused the men to lose control. Their appeal says that critical evidence was excluded from the case and they are seeking a new trial.

According to the appeal, exclusion of critical evidence from the original trial created a condition that "was substantially prejudicial to the plaintiffs and presented a scenario of total inequity... ." A lawyer for the widows asserts that Cirrus was able to present multiple theories in its defense, and the plaintiffs were "restricted from counteracting such evidence." The SR20 carrying Lidle and Stanger impacted the face of a building at an altitude of 332 feet. It was the end of a turn to the south that saw the aircraft descend and stray west of the East River's border. The NTSB found in May 2007 that he pilots' inadequate planning, judgment and airmanship in performing a 180-degree turn in a limited space was the probable cause of the Cirrus SR20 crash.