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Odd Twist In Cory Lidle Case

Lidle's Lawyers Question Credibility Of Shuttle Pilot As Defense Witness

Attorneys for the widow of Cory Lidle, the New York Yankees pitcher who was fatally injured in an accident in 2006 on New York's Upper East Side, say the jury in the case should not hear about former astronaut Robert "Hoot" Gibson's career at NASA as a shuttle pilot when he testifies in the case.

Lidle's widow has charged Cirrus Design with negligence in the design of the SR20 G2 he was flying when he impacted the side of a building in New York. Lidle was making a turn over the East River when the accident occurred.

The New York Post reports that Melanie Lidle's lawyers have filed papers in Manhattan federal court calling Gibson's career as a shuttle pilot "simply irrelevant" to the case. They hold that the two aircraft are very different, with a high level of automation assisting the shuttle pilot, while the Cirrus is flown "manually from airport to airport" by the pilot. They say Gibson, a former Navy pilot, was chosen by Cirrus "purely because of his celebrity background." They also say Gibson's role in the investigation of the loss of space shuttle Challenger should be excluded because it is still a "harrowing tragedy" for many people.

SR20 G2 File Photo

Cirrus Vice President Bill King told the paper that he couldn't imagine that Gibson's career would be ruled irrelevant by the judge.

FMI: www.nysd.uscourts.gov/site_manhattan.php


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