On the same day that mourners filed into the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the memorial service remembering NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, lawyers representing Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company responsible for the helicopter carrying Kobe and Gianna, along with John, Kerri and Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan on January 26.
According to the L.A. Times, Zobayan, has been accused of negligence and failure “to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft.” The suit also holds Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp. with “breach of its duty and negligence” which resulted in multiple deaths. So, while the pilot was directly responsible for the deaths of all nine people on board, including himself, Island Express holds vicarious responsibility.
No specifics have been released regarding the compensation that is being sought, however, the suit details 27 different counts of negligence, including failure to abort the flight, along with weather violations and failure to maintain a safe distance from natural obstacles. On the morning of the flight, reports state that fog and mist reduced visibility in the area, possibly obstructing the view of the terrain.
The suit also notes that Zobayan had previously been cited for similar offenses with regard to having limited vision due to weather conditions. The company “promoted and engaged in unnecessary and needlessly risky means of transport under the circumstances,” it states.
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My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family ❤️