Kobe Bryant’s Wife Vanessa Claims Pilot Error and ‘Pre-Impact Terror’ In New Lawsuit Against Helicopter Company
One day after his memorial, NBA legend Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa filed a lawsuit against the helicopter company behind in the deadly January 26 crash.
Just one day after the memorial for NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his wife Vanessa has filed a lawsuit against Island Express, the company that owns the helicopter that crashed last month, tragically killing her husband, 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others. Sadly, the lawsuit contends that this tragedy could have been prevented.
Vanessa Bryant’s Lawsuit
In her lawsuit against Island Express, Vanessa Bryant argues that the conditions on the morning of the crash were unfit for flying, according to Fox News. Weather conditions were extremely foggy on that day, and Island Express only allowed the helicopter to fly under visual flight rules.
The lawsuit also alleges that Ara George Zobayan, the pilot of the helicopter, was flying way too fast. Especially for conditions.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be Zobayan’s first failure to maintain passenger safety under similar conditions. As Bryant’s lawsuit also cites a 2015 incident in which Zobayan was actually disciplined for breaking flying rules by traversing into areas with low visibility.
Lawsuit Blames The Pilot
Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit places much of the blame for the crash on pilot Zobayan.
Specifically, TMZ Sports reports that, “The lawsuit claims the pilot failed to properly monitor and assess the weather prior to takeoff, failed to obtain proper weather data prior to the flight, failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy condition, failed to maintain control of the helicopter and failed to avoid ‘natural obstacles’ in the flight path.”
Most distressingly, the suit seeks damages for “pre-impact” terror that Kobe and Gianna likely felt as Zobayan tried to save the helicopter in the final seconds.
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Lastly, the lawsuit claims that the helicopter itself was unsafe, although it has not yet been revealed exactly in what way they plan to support their final contention.
Kobe Bryant’s wife is seeking punitive damages in the lawsuit, but the exact amount has not yet been publicized.
Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s Memorial Service
This comes one day after Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s memorial at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The service was attended by a who’s who of Hollywood A-listers and sports icons, including Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West, Michael Jordan, and Shaq.
During the moving memorial service for Kobe and Gianna, who went by the nickname Gigi, an emotional Vanessa Bryan spoke.
“Kobe always said [Gigi] was me. She had my fire, my personality and sarcasm,” she said. “She was tender and loving on the inside. She had the best laugh. It was infectious. It was pure and genuine.”
Then Vanessa went on to describe husband Kobe as her “soulmate.”
“He was thoughtful and wrote the best love letters and cards,” she said, telling stories about his romantic side.
“They were funny, happy, silly and they loved life. God knew [Kobe and Gigi] couldn’t be on this Earth without each other,” Vanessa concluded. “He had to bring them home to have them together. He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi, I got Nani, Bibi and Coco. We’re still the best team.”
This is obviously an incredibly difficult time for Vanessa Bryant and her family.
No mother should have to bury a child. And, to lose both her daughter and her husband of 17 years on the same day, is unimaginable.
We hope that this lawsuit provides some closure. And also that it reveals what led to this tragedy so similar situations can be prevented in the future.
Peace and prayers to everyone impacted by the January 26th tragedy.