Kobe Bryant’s widow is suing the owner of the helicopter that crashed in fog and killed the former Los Angeles Lakers star and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, last month.
The wrongful death lawsuit filed by Vanessa Bryant in Los Angeles on Monday said the pilot, Ara Zobayan, was careless and negligent by flying in cloudy conditions and should have aborted the flight. Zobayan was among the nine people killed in the crash.
The lawsuit names Island Express Helicopters Inc and also targets Zobayan’s legal representative, listed only as “Doe 1” until a name can be determined. Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit asserts that Zobayan was negligent in eight different ways, including failing to properly assess the weather, flying into conditions he wasn’t cleared for and failing to control the helicopter.
The lawsuit was filed as a public memorial service for Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the other victims, including Zobayan, was being held at Staples Center, the Los Angeles arena where Bryant played most of his career.
Island Express is yet to comment on the lawsuit. The company issued a statement in January on its website saying the shock of the crash had prompted it to suspend service for the time being. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash, which took place on the outskirts of Los Angeles county.