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Vanessa Bryant Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Helicopter Company After Crash Killed Kobe & Gigi

Vanessa Bryant Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Helicopter Company After Crash Killed Kobe & Gigi

The lawsuit is for violating “the visual flight rules minimums by flying into an area of reduced visibility from weather conditions.”

Image Source: Instagram/Vanessa Bryant

Vanessa Bryant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company that owned the aircraft after a tragic crash on January 26 that killed Kobe, 41, and his daughter Gianna, 13, with seven others who were onboard, reports People. In a complaint that list Vanessa and her daughters as plaintiffs, Vanessa is suing Island Express Helicopters and claims that pilot Ara Zobayan of Huntington Beach, California, who was piloting the flight at the time of the crash “failed to properly monitor and assess the weather prior to takeoff,” “failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy conditions,” and “failed to properly and safely operate the helicopter resulting in a crash.”



 

The complaint also claims that Island Express Helicopters “knew or should have known” that Zoboyan had been previously cited by the FAA for violating “the visual flight rules minimums by flying into an area of reduced visibility from weather conditions.” The complaint also alleges that Island Express Helicopters “knew or should have known” that they were prohibited from operating the helicopter under Instrument Flight Rules, and the complaint also claims that the company “failed to have in place an adequate safety policy for cancellation of flights into unsafe weather conditions.”



 

Vanessa and her daughters are seeking general, economic and punitive damages by filing the complaint against Island Express Helicopters. In response to the lawsuit, a rep for Island Express Helicopters issued a statement: “This was a tragic accident. We will have no comment on the pending litigation.” Zobayan, who also died, was piloting the flight at the time of the crash. Apparently, he was disciplined in 2015 violating the visual flight rule minimums, according to CNN. However, in addition to being a flight instructor, Zobayan had 20 years of flying experience in Southern California, according to The New York Times



 

A source previously reported that  Zobayan was “extremely experienced” as a pilot. “He had a lot of respect for flying and would never take risks. He knew the valley very well. The area where they crashed was not a new area for him. He was very familiar with that area,” the source said. On the day of the crash, Kobe and Gigi and the seven others were in Bryant’s Sikorsky S-76B helicopter as it took off from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, at around 9:06 a.m., according to flight tracking site FlightRadar24.com. All of them were on their way to a youth basketball game at Bryant’s Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks.



 

An hour later, around 10:00 a.m., the flight crashed into a mountain. Scott Daehlin, was first to contact the authorities about the crash, described witnessing the incident, saying that it seemed as if the pilot was “trying to spot a landing.” “All of a sudden I hear the impact, crash, breaking fiberglass, plexiglass,” Daehlin said, adding that the helicopter rotors “immediately stopped” spinning. “It was over in a quarter second. Just went quiet.” Several local residents also told media houses that there was a lot of fog the day of the crash and it was so thick that no one could see beyond 100 meters. The fog only started clearing out around 11 am. 



 

There were a lot of people who came out in support of Vanessa. Jen Choi wrote: I have to agree with her on this. The Pilot should not have flown under those weather conditions or should've grounded the plane. It's easy to become disoriented when you are surrounded by fog. Mari Tijerina added: That is the first thing I thought of when I heard about the tragic accident. The pilot used poor judgment. Even if he's flown in foggy weather before. As an experienced pilot, he should have delayed or postponed the flight. His decision to fly in foggy weather cost him his life and the lives of 9 innocent people. Khadijah Morgan questioned: I just want to know if she's filing for herself or for all the families that lost someone in the accident. Not to be rude but she's already wealthy af. Her kids and herself are always going to be okay financially.



 

Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.

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