Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, sues helicopter firm


The wife of Kobe Bryant has filed a lawsuit against the company that owned the aircraft that crashed and led to the tragic death of the LA Lakers legend, daughter Gianna and seven others.

Vanessa Bryant has filed a lawsuit that alleges that the company who owned the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp, were only allowed to fly under visual flight rules, and the conditions the day of the crash were not conducive for such flying.

The complaint, heard in Los Angeles County Superior Court, also claims that pilot Ara Zobayan, who also died in the crash, failed “to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft” and was “negligent.”

The 27-count complaint is seeking general damages, economic damages, punitive damages and more.

“Defendant Island Express Helicopters’ breach of its duty and negligence caused the injuries and damages complained of herein and Plaintiffs’ deceased, Kobe Bryant, was killed as a direct result of the negligent conduct of Zobayan for which Defendant Island Express Helicopters is vicariously liable in all respects,” the lawsuit said, according to the LA Times.

Additionally, it alleges that the pilot was disciplined in 2015 for violating the visual flight rule minimums by flying into an airspace of reduced visibility.

The lawsuit claims the pilot failed to properly monitor and assess the weather prior to takeoff, failed to obtain proper weather data before takeoff, failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy conditions, failed to maintain control of the helicopter, and failed to avoid “natural obstacles” in the flight path.

The pilot of the helicopter, who was among the nine killed, had lengthy experience in the air.

He had 8,200 hours of total flight time and had completed the same route the day before, albeit in clear conditions.


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