Settlement reached over airplane crash by New York Yankee

Claimants suing the estates of former New York Yankee Cory Lidle and his flight instructor, Tyler Stanger, have agreed to settle for $2 million, according to the New Jersey Law Journal. Claimants, which included insurers and individuals, originally sought $60 million in property and personal injuries.

The claimants accepted $2 million because Lidle, 34, and the instructor who died with him, Tyler Stanger, 26, each had $1 million liability policies, and the estates had no other assets worth pursuing, according to the New Jersey Law Journal. The settlement will be divided between insurance companies that paid a total of $16.5 million to 11 property owners as well as six property owners who had further claims and five personal injury plaintiffs. Claimants decided they did not want to pursue the personal assets of the estates left by Lidle or Stanger.

Cory Lidle, who was 34 years old at the time of his death, was a pitcher for the New York Yankees when the small Cirrus Design SR-20 he owned crashed into a luxury residential high-rise at 524 East 72nd Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on October 11, 2006.

Investigators were not able to determine who was in control of the aircraft when it crashed---Lidle, or his flight instructor, Tyler Stanger.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, Lidle and Stanger flew out of Teterboro Airport at 2:29 pm on that fateful day with no flight plan filed. The pilots had acknowledged to air traffic control that the aircraft would stay out of the New York class B airspace. After takeoff, the aircraft turned southeast and climbed to an altitude of about 600 to 800 feet mean sea level. When the flight reached the western shore of the Hudson River, it turned south, remaining over the river, then descended to 500 feet. The flight continued southbound over the Hudson River until abeam of the southern tip of Manhattan, at which point, the flight turned southwest. The aircraft flew around the Statue of Liberty, then headed northeast to fly over the East River.

About a mile north of the Queensboro Bridge, the aircraft made a left turn to reverse its course. The aircraft then crashed into a 520-foot tall apartment building 333 feet above street level.

The National Transportation Safety Board later determined that the probable cause of the accident was the pilots' inadequate planning, judgment, and airmanship in the performance of a 180-degree turn maneuver inside the limited turning space over the East River.

The case was mediated by retired New Jersey Superior Court Judge Marina Corodemus of Corodemus & Corodemus LLC, a Iselin, N.J.-based law firm that focuses on alternative dispute resolutions.

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