As family, friends, and fans gathered to remember Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at Staples Center Monday, news broke that Vanessa Bryant has filed a lawsuit against the helicopter company operating their ill-fated flight.
Kobe and Gianna perished in a chopper crash on January 26 near Calabasas, California, along with seven others.
According to court documents, Vanessa is suing Island Express, alleging the crash never should have happened. She also lists heartbreaking damages, including loss of love, affection, care, society, service, comfort, support, right to support, companionship, and solace or moral support.
The lawsuit claims the pilot, Ara George Zobayan, made a series of errors, including failing to properly assess the weather and abort the flight due to foggy conditions. The suit also alleges that he failed to maintain control of the helicopter and to avoid “natural obstacles.”
The docs allege that in the last seconds of the flight, Zobayan “attempted to maneuver the helicopter up and forward to clear the clouds, then entered a turn sending the helicopter into the steep terrain at approximately 180 miles per hour.”
The grievance also states that the pilot “was required to fly only in conditions that he could navigate visually” and that Island Express’ “operating certificate limited its pilots to flying only under visual flight rules” and is “not licensed or certified to be flown into instrumental conditions.”
The papers insist 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.”
A dollar amount has not been listed, but Vanessa does include loss of financial support and asks for burial and funeral expenses in the lawsuit.