Vanessa Bryant Sues Island Express Helicopters, Owners Of Chopper That Crashed And Killed Her Husband And Daughter
Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, has sued Island Express Helicopters the owner of the helicopter, which crashed and killed her husband and their daughter.
Her lawsuit alleges wrongful death and claims the pilot, Ara Zobayan, was careless and negligent.
Vanessa believes Zobayan (below) should have aborted the flight amid cloudy conditions
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Ara Zobayan, violated weather-related flight rules in 2015, according to Federal Aviation Administration enforcement records.
While operating an Island Express helicopter in May 2015, Zobayan was denied clearance through Los Angeles International Airport due to reduced visibility from weather conditions. An air traffic controller then informed him the airfield was reporting less than basic visual flight rules (VFR) minimums, but Zobayan violated the rules and flew into the airspace, according to the enforcement records.
The new 27 count lawsuit states:
“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,”
Amid extensive fog in the area, Bryant and his daughter were on Jan. 26 travelling to her basketball game at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, when the helicopter crashed into a Calabasas hillside. In an audio recording from air traffic control, the controller can be heard telling the pilot that they were “still too low level” to be tracked on the radar.
Zobayan was among the nine people killed in the crash last month.