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Airplane manufacturer denies blame for baseball player’s death

The manufacturer of the small plane that baseball player Cory Lidle and a flight instructor were piloting when they crashed into a Manhattan apartment building five years ago denied blame for the wrongful death. The lawyer for the plane manufacturer said that the victims, not the company, were to blame for their wrongful deaths. Opening statements recently begun in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Mr. Lidle’s wife and the family of his flight instructor, blaming Cirrus Design Corporation for the flight crash. The baseball player was only 34 years of age and died just days after his baseball season ended. The wrongful death lawsuit plaintiff’s attorney told jurors that their lawsuit would prove that the company rushed the plane into production a decade ago with an inferior control system. The attorney stated that the victims desperately tried to re-engage a jammed steering system as the plane went out of control and dropped altitude in the last 45 seconds before the crash.

The representative for the airplane manufacturer blamed the crash on a series of pilot errors that began after the men tried to make a sharp “high performance” turn in one of the busiest air corridors in the country. He stated that the pilots never notified anyone of an emergency and did not attempt to use the plane’s parachute. The parachute feature was an added feature that the manufacturing company pioneered after one of its founders survived a mid-air collision between two planes. The representative further stated that the victims had only 25 hours of experience in the flight.

On the other hand, the wrongful death plaintiff’s lawyer stated that the men bent the joysticks used to control the wings in an attempt to unjam flight controls as they tried to prevent the accident. The attorney said “they did everything a prudent pilot would do.” The families of the victim are seeking wrongful death damages in excess of $100 million.

Read more about the wrongful death lawsuit at the Washington Post.