Cory Lidle's Family Wants $45 Million in Lost Earnings

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, Mar 13, 2009  |  Updated 12:22 PM EDT
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Cory Lidle's Family Wants $45 Million in Lost Earnings

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A sad ending to Lidle's life doesn't change the facts of his career.

Anyone who has dealt with loss knows that it's pretty useless to tell someone how they should deal with it. When that loss is of someone as young as Yankee pitcher Cory Lidle and in as sudden a way as his plane crash, it only makes it that much more difficult.

Lidle's widow, Melanie, is suing Cirrus Design Corp., the manufacturer of the plane that her husband was in when he crashed and died on October 11, 2006. She's asking for more than $50 million, and the New York Post reports that his agent is claiming that Lidle would have made $45 million in salary from playing and coaching baseball.

Jordan Feagan may have a bit of an inflated sense of his own abilities as an agent. Lidle would have been 35 years old before the 2007 season, had never made more than $3.3 million in a season and was as average a pitcher as you could find in the major leagues. He certainly would have pitched for another year or two or three, but he wasn't going to be making $8 million a year. And there just isn't enough money in being a pitching coach, especially one who would likelly be in the minors for several years while making his way up the ladder, to make the claim stand up on the back end. 

It's possible the claim is based on his pension, and Lidle was just shy of the 10 year mark that would have him fully vested in the league's pension plan. However, it seems easy to argue that Lidle could have done any number of things that would have impacted his ability to play another game in the major leagues before the 2007 season got underway.  

Someone with more legal expertise could break down the strength of the Lidles' case, but it's worth noting that the National Transportation Safety Board ruled pilot error was responsible for the crash. The Lidles have also been the target of suits from the people who lived in the building hit by the plane, which wouldn't be the case if they could establish that the manufacturer, and not the pilot was responsible.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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