Vanessa Bryant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit following the deaths of her husband, Kobe Bryant, her 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven other passengers according to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times.
The nine people lost their lives last January 26, including pilot Ara Zobayan, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
Bryant has brought a suit against Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp. seeking general damages, economic damages, and punitive damages.
“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 lawsuit said.
Federal Aviation Administration records show Zobayan was previously disciplined five years ago for flying without permission into airspace while he had reduced visibility. He was also flying for Island Express Helicopters when that happened.
According to Dave Philipps, Tim Arango and Louis Keene of the New York Times, there was thick fog that had caused the Los Angeles Police Department to ground its fleet of helicopters during the fatal crash in January. Moreover, a preliminary investigation showed there was no engine failure on the helicopter, per Chris Woodyard of USA Today.
However, the helicopter didn’t have a terrain awareness and warning system, which is recommended by the National Travel Safety Board.
The 27-page complaint doesn’t contain a specific amount; nevertheless, it does seek general, economic and punitive damages, which could total into the millions.