Vanessa Bryant, the wife of the late Kobe Bryant, has just sued the company that owned the helicopter that went down in the accident that took the lives of her husband, their daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others, claiming that the aircraft should have never been allowed to fly in the conditions that led to the January 26 accident.
The lawsuit claims, “Island Express was only allowed to fly under visual flight rules, and the conditions the day of the crash were not conducive for such flying. As we reported, the fog was extremely low and the pilot was in blinding conditions before the mishap,” according to TMZ.
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The same lawsuit also alleged “the pilot was going 180 miles per hour in the heavy fog in a steep decline in the moments before it crashed in Calabasas, CA,” per the outlet.
Vanessa’s lawsuit claimed that the pilot failed to properly monitor and assess the weather before takeoff, failed to obtain proper weather data before the flight, failed to abort the flight when the pilot knew the cloudy condition, failed to maintain control of the helicopter, and failed to avoid “natural obstacles” in the flight’s path.
The suit adds Island Express engaged in unnecessary and needlessly risky means of transportation under these circumstances.
In the lawsuit, it is also asked for damages for “pre-impact” terror – emotional trauma damage Kobe and Gianna suffered as the pilot struggled to get out of the clouds prior to the crash.
The suit also mentions the pilot, Ara George Zobayan, was disciplined in 2015 for violating the visual flight rule minimums by flying into airspace with reduced visibility.
Bryant’s lawsuit also alleged that the helicopter was not safe, but doesn’t mention what was unsafe.
The suit does not list an amount of damages sought. However, Vanessa asked for punitive damages, and claimed the pilot and Island Express were reckless, and the damages could be untold millions.
The lawsuit is seeking for loss of love, affection, care, society, service, comfort, support, right to support, companionship, solace or moral support and expectations of future support and counseling. It also is seeking money for loss of financial support and for the burial and funeral expenses.