Vanessa Bryant Sues Helicopter Company In The Death of Kobe and Gianna Bryant

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Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Kobe Bryant, has filed a wrongful death suit against the company that operated helicopter that killed Kobe and Gianna Bryant. The suit claims negligence by the pilot that ultimately led to the fatal accident.

Bryant is seeking damages caused by "pre-impact" terror. This accounts for the emotional trauma Kobe and Gianna Bryant suffered as the pilot tried to navigate through the clouds. She is also seeking punitive damages for the pilot and Island Express' negligence.

The suit claims that the loss of love, affection, affection, care, society, service, comfort, support, right to support, companionship, solace or moral support and expectations of future support, counseling, and funeral expenses will be accounted for in the damages.

Vanness Bryant and her legal team allege that the aircraft was placed in unnecessary danger in dangerous conditions.

Island Express allows helicopters to fly under certain visual rules. The conditions on the morning of the flight were extremely foggy, making it difficult for the pilot, Ara Zobayan, to see. Bryant's legal team contends that the weather on that day was not safe enough for the pilot or the company to allow the helicopter to take flight.

The lawsuit also claims that Zobayan was flying recklessly. The pilot was traveling at 180 miles per hour in the fog going down a steep incline before the crash. Zobayan allegedly failed to monitor the weather, obtain proper weather data, or abort the flight when he realized the weather was not suitable for travel.

On January 26, 2020, a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California, around 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles, en route from John Wayne Airport to Camarillo Airport. Kobe Bryant along with his daughter Gianna and 7 other victims were killed in the crash. Zoboyan was one of the victims.

Los Angeles has come out to commemorate both Bryants in a memorial at the Staples Center. Watch it on Sports Illustrated. 

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