Vanessa Bryant Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Helicopter Company
Vanessa Bryant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that owned the helicopter that crashed and killed her husband Kobe Bryant and 13-year-old daughter Gianna on January 26.
According to TMZ, she plans to sue Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp for allowing the pilot to fly in such extremely foggy conditions, claiming Ara Zobayan (who was also among the nine people killed in the crash) was negligent and careless for not aborting the doomed flight.
The lawsuit asserts that Zobayan was negligent in more than one way, including flying into conditions he wasn't cleared for, failure to properly monitor and assess the weather and failure to maintain control of the helicopter.
"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 suit reads.
The late basketball star's widow also claims the helicopter was not safe amid reports that it didn't have a terrain awareness and warning system, which is recommended by the National Travel Safety Board.
TMZ reports Vanessa is seeking punitive damages, as well as damages for the emotional trauma Kobe and Gigi "suffered as the pilot struggled to get out of the clouds before the crash."
News of the lawsuit was announced on the same day as a public memorial honoring Kobe and Gianna was being held at Staples Center in Los Angeles. During the service, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera performed and Vanessa delivered a heartbreaking eulogy for her "soulmate" and "baby girl."