The helicopter crash that killed basketball great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, along with pilot Ara George Zobayan and several other passengers shocked the world. It was also a personal tragedy for Kobe’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, with both emotional and financial consequences. According to E News, Ms. Bryant is seeking relief in the courts.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks a number of so-far-unspecified damages against Island Express and its employees, including Mr. Zobayan’s heirs. The suit may become expensive because Kobe Bryant’s lost income is numbered in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
According to ESPN, the crash took place on the morning of January 26 when the helicopter, carrying Bryant, his daughter, one of her youth basketball coaches, and two of her teammates encountered thick fog over the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. They were flying from Orange County to a basketball tournament in which Vanessa Bryant was scheduled to play in Thousand Oaks.
Zobayan, who was an experienced pilot who had flow Bryant and his family many times, attempted to increase the helicopter’s altitude above the fog. He nearly succeeded, but the helicopter made an abrupt left turn and slammed into a grassy hillside. According to the autopsies, everyone in the helicopter was killed instantly. Kobe Bryant had to be identified using fingerprints.
The wrongful death suit claims negligence on the part of Zobayan, resulting in the accident. It seeks unspecified damages, both economic and non-economic, as well as punitive damages and other relief that the court might see fit to award.
The Kobe Bryant wrongful death suit illustrates how expensive the death of a celebrity can be if a party is found to be responsible for it. Bryant had retired from basketball after a successful career. However, his earning power from endorsements and a number of business ventures was immense. Someone found to have caused the death of such a person through negligence or some other reason will almost always have to pay for their folly in court.
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