Minnesota Appeals Court Reverses Cirrus Case Award

The Minnesota Court of Appeals says Duluth-based Cirrus Design did not have a duty to provide pilot training to a Grand Rapids man whose plane crashed in 2003, killing him and his passenger.

The opinion published Tuesday essentially vacates a more than $16 million award for families of the victims.

Pilot Gary Prokop and his passenger, James Kosak, died Jan. 18, 2003. The families sued, alleging Cirrus and the University of North Dakota Aerospace Foundation didn’t provide adequate pilot training.

While companies are supposed to warn of product dangers, the appeals court says Cirrus didn’t have an obligation to train Prokop.

One judge disagreed, saying Cirrus made the training part of its purchase agreement, so voluntarily assumed a duty to provide it.

Attorneys for victims’ families intend to appeal.