Vanessa Bryant sues helicopter company over tragic crash that killed Kobe and Gianna

25 February 2020, 16:40

Vanessa Bryant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company following January's tragic crash.
Vanessa Bryant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company following January's tragic crash. Picture: Getty Images

Kobe Bryant's widow has filed a wrongful death against the firm that operated the helicopter.

Vanessa Bryant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owner of the helicopter that crashed in Calabasas last month, killing her husband Kobe, their 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

Watch Vanessa Bryant's heartbreaking speech at Kobe & Gianna’s memorial service

In the lawsuit filed on Monday (24 Feb) in Los Angeles, Bryant says the pilot, Ara Zobayan, was careless and negligent for flying in such poor weather conditions on 26 January and should have aborted the flight. Zobayan was among the nine killed in the crash.

Vanessa Bryant is suing the helicopter company that operated the doomed helicopter which killed her husband Kobe and their daughter Gianna.
Vanessa Bryant is suing the helicopter company that operated the doomed helicopter which killed her husband Kobe and their daughter Gianna. Picture: Getty

Island Express Helicopters and Zobayan had a "duty to use that degree of care that an ordinarily careful and prudent pilot would use under the same or similar circumstances," the suit says.

"This was a tragic accident. We will have no comment on the pending litigation," the company said in a statement Monday.

Vanessa's lawsuit says that 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.

Kobe Bryant and Gianna, 13, were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas in January.
Kobe Bryant and Gianna, 13, were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas in January. Picture: Getty

The lawsuit was filed as a memorial service paying tribute to Kobe, Gianna and the seven other victims of the crash, including Zobayan, was taking place at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

During the event, which saw 20,000 people gather to honour the NBA legend, Vanessa opened the ceremony with a heart-wrenching speech about her late husband and daughter.

Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera performed some of Kobe and Vanessa's favourite songs, while Shaquille O'Neal and Michael Jordan also gave moving speeches.

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