Vanessa Bryant Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Island Express Helicopters

Attorneys for Vanessa Bryant have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters, the company that operated the helicopter that crashed last month, resulting in the deaths of husband Kobe Bryant and 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant in late January.

The suit alleges that pilot Ara Zobayan was negligent and careless, and that that negligence directly caused the death of Bryant. All nine people aboard died in the crash.

“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,” said the 27-count lawsuit.

Amid extensive fog in the area, Bryant and his daughter were on Jan. 26 traveling to her basketball game at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, when the helicopter crashed into a Calabasas hillside. In an audio recording from air traffic control, the controller can be heard telling the pilot that they were “still too low level” to be tracked on the radar.

A memorial for the former Los Angeles Lakers star and the victims of the crash is currently being held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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