Vanessa Bryant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit following the deaths of her husband, retired NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant, and daughter Gigi Bryant, claiming that both the pilot and company who owned the helicopter acted recklessly.
According to court docs obtained by TMZ, the widow is claiming that Island Express was only allowed to fly under visual flight rules. Weather conditions on the day of the fateful crash, which included extremely low fog, were not favorable for the helicopter to fly in. The pilot was said to be flying 180 miles per hour in the heavy fog, which created limited visibility.
The suit says Island Express, the company that owned the chopper, engaged in unnecessary and needlessly risky means of transportation under the circumstances. A bulk of the blame was also placed directly on the pilot, who was said to have failed to obtain proper weather data prior to the flight. In addition, he also reportedly failed to properly monitor, assess the weather prior to takeoff, failed to maintain control of the helicopter, failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy condition, and failed to avoid “natural obstacles” in the flight path. The documents also noted the pilot’s past disciplinary action. Ara George Zobayan was reprimanded in 2015 for violating the visual flight rule minimums by flying into an airspace of reduced visibility.
Vanessa is asking for punitive damages. While the lawsuit does not state a specific amount being sought, a suit such as this could result in millions of dollars in payouts.