Kobe Bryant Crash Victims’ Families File Wrongful Death Suit Against Helicopter Company

Two of the families who lost loved ones in the January 26 Calabasas helicopter crash—which also claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna—have filed a wrongful death suit against the helicopter company.

Per TMZ on Sunday, the surviving relatives of the Altobelli and Mauser family have separately taken legal action against Island Express Helicopters Inc., claiming that the business’ negligence was responsible for the deaths of college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their 14-year-old daughter Alyssa, as well as girls basketball coach Christina Mauser.

According to both lawsuits, the family members contend that the transportation service negligently and carelessly breached its duty to own, lease, manage, maintain, control, entrust, charter and operate the helicopter that carried their kin in a reasonable manner.

The two families are seeking damages for physical, emotional, and mental anguish, as well as for the lost wages that their loved ones could have potentially earned had they survived.

In February, Vanessa Bryant, widow of Kobe and mother of Gianna, filed a wrongful death suit against Island Express Helicopters Inc., as well as a representative or successor for the helicopter’s pilot Ara Zobayan, who also perished in the collision.

In her suit, Vanessa claims Zobayan was negligent in numerous ways, and also made reference to his May 2015 Federal Aviation Administration violation for flying without permission into airspace with reduced visibility.

She also alleges the helicopter company failed to supervise and train Zobayan, allowed him to fly in unsafe weather, and failed to install an alarm system that would have warned him he was close to hitting the ground. She also believes they, overall, did not implement reasonable flight safety rules and policies.

At the time of Vanessa’s filing, a representative for Island Express Helicopters Inc. told TMZ, “This was a tragic accident. We will have no comment on the pending lawsuit."

Sarah Chester and her 13-year-old daughter Payton, who played basketball alongside Gianna and Alyssa, were also killed in the crash.

Our heart goes out to the victims and their families of this horrific tragedy.


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