The plane manufacturer of ex-Yankee Cory Lidle's plane has been cleared of charges that an airplane defect killed the pitcher.
In fall of 2006, Cory Lidle's flight killed him and his flight instructor, Tyler Stanger, when it flew into a building on Manhattan's East Side. Three others were injured. In 2007, the widows of Lidle and Stanger filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Cirrus Design Corp., the manufacturer of the single-engine SR20 plane. The case was tried in US District Court in Manhattan over the last four weeks.
In May 2007, the National Transportation Safety Board released the results of its investigations. The report blamed poor piloting for the crash. The Board did not find a problem in the plane's manufacturing.
Today, the six-juror panel found Cirrus Design not culpable for any of the damages the plaintiffs sought.
The widows' attorney, Hunter Shkolnik, had expected the verdict since the judge refused to allow evidence that the company changed their manufacturing process after this accident. In New York, evidence that someone has altered their conduct as a result of the injury-causing accident is not admissible to prove that there was wrongdoing initially.
Here is a perfect example: You live in an apartment building and are walking up the steps to the front door. You trip and fall over broken step, and break your leg. Shortly after the accident, the landlord repairs the step, so now it is in perfect working condition. The mere fact that the landlord repaired the defective step cannot be used as evidence to show that there was a problem at the time that you fell.
Plaintiffs attorney also tried to get into evidence the fact that another pilot had a similar problem with a different plane less than a year earlier. That is almost like saying that if you've gotten five speeding tickets in the past and now you're heading to work and get pulled over your history of speeding automatically says that you were speeding this time. The law is supposed to look at each individual action separately. A person may have a history or a pattern of carlessness over time, and it is up to the judge to determine whether or not to admit that evidence during trial.
Shkolnik was looking for $43.5 million in damages, $40 million of which would go to the Lidle family. Still, he remains confident as he plans to appeal the case.
If you would like more information about how medical malpractice and accident cases work in the state of New York, I encourage you to explore my educational website http://www.oginski-law.com. If you have legal questions, I urge you to pick up the phone and call me at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at email@example.com to answer your questions. That's what I do every day. I welcome your call.
Gerry practices law exclusively in the State of New York. Within New York he practices primarily in the following counties: New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, Nassau and Suffolk. Technically, Brooklyn is known as "Kings County," and Manhattan and New York City are known as "New York County." Staten Island is known as "Richmond County." These counties make up the New York metropolitan area.
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