Vanessa Bryant Seeks ”Hundreds of Millions” of Dollars in Lawsuit


Vanessa Bryant is seeking “hundreds of millions of dollars” as part of a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Island Express Helicopters and the pilot that was in control of the helicopter that crashed and killed husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant, according to court documents obtained by E! News. 

As previously reported by E! News, Vanessa submitted the wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company in February—less than a month after Kobe’s death. Vanessa’s attorney’s filed a 72-paged wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court arguing Island Express, agents and employees, including Ara George Zobayan, the pilot of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter who also died in the crash, had a “duty to use that degree of care that an ordinarily careful and prudent pilot would use under the same or similar circumstances.” 

Now, court documents show that as a result of Kobe and Gianna’s deaths, Vanessa “seeks economic damages, non-economic damages, prejudgment interest, punitive damages, and other relief as the Court deems just and proper.” 

The court papers also read, “Although the total specific amount of personal injury damages that Plaintiff seeks is TBD, Kobe Bryant’s future lost earnings equals hundreds of millions of dollars.” 

Island Express declined to comment when contacted by E! News.

In the wrongful death lawsuit that was filed earlier this year, the pilot is accused of failing to properly monitor and asses the weather prior to takeoff, failing to obtain proper weather data prior to the subject flight, failing to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy conditions, failing to properly maintain control of the helicopter in flight, failing to properly avoid natural obstacles in the flight path, failing to keep a safe distance between the helicopter and natural obstacles and ultimately, failing to properly and safely operate the helicopter, which resulted in the fatal crash. 

At the time, a spokesperson for Island Express Helicopters told E! News in a statement, “This was a tragic accident. We will have no comment on the pending litigation.” 

The late Los Angeles Lakers player, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the pilot were three of nine victims that died in the crash, which took place in Calif. on Jan. 26. Other victims included John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah and Payton Chester and Christina Mauser. 

In May, after Vanessa filed the wrongful death lawsuit, a representative for the helicopter pilot issued a response. 

Berge Zobayan, a personal representative for the late pilot, filed an answer with the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles on May 8. According to court documents obtained by E! News, the representative said the “answering defendant bears no responsibility.” 

Further, the documents said that any injuries or damages to plaintiffs and/or their decedent were “directly caused in full or in part by the negligence or fault of plaintiffs and/or their decedent, including their knowing and voluntary encounter with the risks involved, and that this negligence was a substantial factor in causing their purported damages, for which this answering defendant bears no responsibility.”





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