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Truck dealer denies fault in Fidrych death

  |   July 24, 2012 at 1:03 PM
WORCESTER, Mass., July 24 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts truck dealer denied any wrongdoing in response to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of former baseball star Mark "The Bird" Fidrych.

Morse Mack Sales of Worcester filed its official answer to the lawsuit last week, denying any wrongdoing and claiming Fidrych's own modifications to his truck were the greatest contributor to his death, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported.

Fidrych, nicknamed "The Bird" for his resemblance to the Sesame Street character, died from accidental asphyxia by suffocation April 13, 2009, when his clothes got caught in the power takeoff shaft of his 10-wheel Mack dump truck.

Fidrych's family filed a lawsuit May 16 against Mack Trucks of Greensboro, N.C., Morse Mack Sales of Worcester and Ballard Mack Sales & Service of Worcester, claiming negligent design, manufacture, marketing and sale, negligent failure to warn and instruct, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, and negligent sale, service and repair led to the Fidrych's death.

No hearings have yet been scheduled.

Fidrych won American League Rookie of the Year in 1976 with the Detroit Tigers and was featured on the covers of Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone magazines before retiring in 1983 due to injuries.

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