The Widow of Kobe Bryant, Vanessa has on Monday filed a lawsuit against the operators of the helicopter that killed her husband, daughter and seven others on January 26, 2020.
The lawsuit which named Island Express Helicopters, Island Express Holding Corp. and the estate of the helicopter’s pilot, Ara Zobayan, who was among the victims was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court on the same day of the memorial service of her deceased family and others.
The memorial was held at the Staples Center.
Her lawsuit faults the company for allowing the helicopter to fly in “heavy fog and low clouds” that Sunday morning, in conditions which prompted “law enforcement agencies and tour companies” to ground their helicopters.
“The subject helicopter was not licensed or certified to be flown into instrument conditions. On information and belief, the pilot-in-command, Ara George Zobayan, was required to fly only in conditions that he could navigate visually.
“Ara George Zobayan attempted to manoeuvre the helicopter up and forward to clear the clouds, then entered a turn sending the helicopter into steep terrain at approximately 180 mph,” according to the suit. “Witnesses on the ground reported seeing the helicopter flying through a layer of clouds and fog before the helicopter crashed.”
The company have not responded to the lawsuit yet.