Plane-maker says it's not to blame for Lidle death

Cory Lidle reacts to a reporters question during a news conference at Yankee Stadium in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2006. ( (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer))

April 27, 2011 1:37:20 PM PDT
A lawyer for the maker of the plane that New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and a flight instructor were piloting when they crashed into a Manhattan building says the Minnesota company was not to blame for their deaths.

Attorney Patrick Bradley told a jury in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday that Cirrus Design Corp. of Duluth, Minn., was so dedicated to safety that it installed a parachute that Lidle and his instructor, Tyler Stanger, could have triggered if they saw no other option.

Bradley delivered his opening statement after California attorney Todd Macaluso argued on behalf of the families. He accused the company of building a deficient steering system for the Cirrus SR-20 that crashed in October 2006. The families are suing for $50 million.