Vanessa Bryant Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Pilot And Helicopter Company

After losing her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash on January 26th in Calabasas, California, Vanessa Bryant files a 'wrongful death' lawsuit against the Island Express Helicopters company and the late pilot of the flight, Ara Zobayan. 

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According to the Los Angeles Times, Vanessa Bryant is suing the company that owned the helicopter that crashed and killed Kobe and Gianna "Gigi" Bryant along with seven other victims. Vanessa claims that the aircraft should have never flown and therefore shouldn't have caused the January 26th tragedy. 

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According to the lawsuit, Island Express was allegedly only allowed to fly under certain visual flight rules; the foggy weather on the day of the crash, in this case, wouldn't be considered conducive conditions for flying.

According to USA TODAY, the fog that day was extremely low and therefore blinded the pilot's ability to see before the accident occurred. It was also reported that the helicopter was flying at 180 miles per hour through the thick fog and was in a steep decline before it crashed in Calabasas, California.

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Bryant's lawsuit claims that the pilot failed to follow various protocols including failing to properly monitor and assess the weather before takeoff, failing to obtain adequate weather data prior to flying, failing to abort the flight because of the foggy conditions, and failing to maintain control of the helicopter as well as failing to avoid "natural obstacles" in the path of flight. 

The lawsuit also seeks to prove that Island Express engaged in unnecessary risks during flying, given the circumstances. The suit claims damages related to "pre-impact" terror which are damages for the emotional trauma Kobe and Gigi suffered while witnessing the pilot struggling to get the helicopter out of the fog before the crash. 

The lawsuit says that the pilot, Ara George Zobayan, was previously disciplined back in 2015 for violating the minimum visual flight rules because he flew into airspace with reduced visibility. 

Although the suit does not list an amount sought in terms of the damages, Vanessa is calling for punitive damages by alleging that Island Express and the pilot were reckless. Among many immaterial things, the suit also seeks money for finances related to burial and funeral expenses. 

What do you think about Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit? Do you feel that the crash was an accident or negligence? Weigh-in on the topic here and pass this along to others so they can give their own opinion about the lawsuit, too.