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Kobe Bryant’s Widow Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Helicopter Company Over Crash

On February 24th, 2020, a public memorial was given where friends, family, and fans alike were able to give Kobe Bryant his final sendoff after a tragic helicopter accident the month before. On the same day, news broke that Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, will be filing a lawsuit against the company responsible for the helicopter.

The suit names “Island Express,” the company responsible for operating the helicopter involved in the crash. The incident killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others.

The Lawsuit Filed on Monday

The lawsuit alleges, in part, that the pilot failed to safely operate the aircraft. As the story has unfolded, we learn that the incident was due, in big part, to the tough to navigate conditions on that day. The chopper was navigating under visual flight rules. This means that the pilot was using sight over instrumentation to guide the helicopter. The suit brings into question the conditions and if they were suitable for such a flight. The verbiage claims “failure to assess weather conditions and maintain control.”

Among other complaints obtained by CNN, the suit also alleges that the pilot, Ara Zobayan,

“Failed to properly monitor and assess the weather prior to takeoff;”
“Failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy conditions;”
and “Failed to properly and safely operate the helicopter resulting in a crash.”

In the wake of the incident, Vanessa is seeking punitive damages. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior court on Monday.

Island Express Response

Later on Monday, Island Express would respond, saying “This was a tragic accident. We will have no comment on the pending litigation,” says CNNThe company has also suspended its services since the crash. The statement on their website reads “The shock of the accident affected all staff, and management decided that service would be suspended until such time as it was deemed appropriate for staff and customers.”

Photo credit – Andrew D. Bernstein/NBA Classic/Getty Images – Getty Images