Jury Sides with Cirrus in $100 Million Cory Lidle Trial

Court finds SR20 control problem did not cause 2006 crash.

A New York federal jury on Tuesday found Cirrus Design does not bear any blame for the October 2006 crash of an SR20 that killed New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, 34, and flight instructor Tyler Stanger, 26.

The pair crashed into a high-rise apartment building as they attempted to make a turn in the tight confines of Manhattan's East River Corridor. The widows of Lidle and Stanger sued Cirrus for $100 million, saying a binding problem with the SR20's flight controls prevented the men from making the turn. The theory ran counter to the NTSB's accident findings that pilot error was to blame.

"Our hearts are with the Lidle and Stanger families who are still grieving," said Bill King, Cirrus vice president. "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."

A jury of four men and two women took just three hours to enter a verdict after a trial that lasted four weeks. Lawyers for Lidle’s wife Melanie said they planned to appeal the decision.