Judge Expected To Hand Stewart Case To Jury


ORLANDO, Fla. -- A judge is expected today to ask an Orange County jury to decide if a luxury jet manufacturer is responsible for the death of Payne Stewart and five others aboard a Learjet.
The Learjet lost cabin pressure soon after taking off from Orlando in October 1999, killing all on board within minutes. The plane eventually ran out of fuel and crashed into a South Dakota pasture.
The families of Stewart and his agent, Robert Fraley, sued Learjet. They estimate that Stewarts lost earnings and the damages suffered by his family exceed 200 million dollars.
During a month-long trial, attorneys for the families argued that a cracked and corroded adapter caused an essential outflow valve to pull away from the planes frame, causing a rapid cabin decompression.
But lawyers for Learjet contend a lack of pilot training and maintenance caused the crash.
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