Vanessa Bryant has officially filed a wrongful death lawsuit following the deaths of her husband, Los Angeles Lakers legend and Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, and her 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, according to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times.
Kobe and Gianna both died, along with six other passengers and the helicopter’s pilot Ara Zobayan, in a helicopter crash back in late January of this year.
Vanessa Bryant has filed a lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp. and is seeking general damages, economic damages and punitive damages.
According to the report, referencing the lawsuit files:”Defendant Island Express Helicopters’ breach of its duty and negligence caused the injuries and damages complained of herein and Plaintiffs’ deceased, 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,”
According to the Los Angeles Times’ Hannah Fry, Zobayan, who was flying for Express Helicopters at the time of the crash, was previously disciplined in 2015 for violating federal flight rules and received counseling.
According to the New York Times’ Dave Philipps, Tim Arango, and Louis Keene, there was thick fog that had caused the Los Angeles Police Department to ground its fleet of helicopters, however that did not deter Zobayan from taking flight.
According to USA Today’s Chris Woodyard, a preliminary investigation showed there was no engine failure on the helicopter. Oddly, the helicopter did not have a terrain awareness and warning system, something that is recommended by the National Travel Safety Board.