Vanessa Bryant sues helicopter company after death of Kobe, Gianna, 7 others

Tue 25 Feb 2020 15:47 GMT | 19:47 Local Time

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Vanessa Bryant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit following the deaths of her husband, Kobe Bryant, and her 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, according to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times.

The pair died along with six other passengers and pilot Ara Zobayan in a helicopter crash last month 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.

Zobayan was previously disciplined in 2015 for violating federal flight rules and received counseling, per Hannah Fry of the Los Angeles Times. He was also flying for Island Express Helicopters at the time.

During the fatal crash in January, there was a thick fog that had caused the Los Angeles Police Department to ground its fleet of helicopters, according to Dave Philipps, Tim Arango and Louis Keene of the New York Times.

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.

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