Vanessa Bryant Files Wrongful Death Suit Against Helicopter Company & Pilot for Kobe Crash

On the day she gave an emotional speech at Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s memorial service, Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful death suit against the owner and the pilot of the helicopter that killed her husband and 13-year-old daughter.

According to TMZ on Monday, the famed athlete’s widow took legal action against Island Express Helicopters Inc. as well as a representative or successor for late pilot Ara Zobayan for the January 26 crash, which killed nine people, including Zobayan.

The documents make clear that Vanessa believes Zobayan was negligent in eight different ways, including failing to properly assess the weather, flying into conditions he wasn't cleared for, and failing to control the helicopter.

The suit also cites Zobayan’s May 2015 Federal Aviation Administration violation for flying without permission into airspace with reduced visibility.

Earlier this month, the National Transportation Safety Board released an initial investigation into crash, saying there was no outward evidence of engine failure. A final report is not expected for a year or more.

Vanessa’s counsel also claims Island Express Inc. failed to supervise and train Zobayan, allowed him to fly in unsafe weather, and did not implement reasonable flight safety rules and policies.

Additionally, the suit alleges the company failed to install an alarm system that would have warned the pilot he was close to hitting the ground.

Bryant is seeking unspecified damages for a variety of entities including her grief, sorrow, loss of companionship, and funeral expenses.

She is also seeking punitive damages to "deter future wrongdoing.”

"Acts and omissions of the defendant has manifested such reckless and complete indifference to and a conscious disregard for the safety of others,” the suit read.

On Tuesday, a representative for Island Express Inc. told TMZ, “This was a tragic accident. We will have no comment on the pending lawsuit."


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