The wife of the late Kobe Bryant, Vanessa Bryant, has added new documents to her wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company and the estate of the pilot who was involved in January’s deadly crash.
Bryant, who had already filed suit in February, has now made it explicitly clear she is looking to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in the settlement that saw her husband and daughter, Gianna, killed.
‘As a result of Kobe Bryant’s and GB’s deaths, Vanessa Bryant seeks economic damages, non-economic damages, prejudgment interest, punitive damages, and other relief as the Court deems just and proper,’ the new filing reads.
The lawsuit lays the blame with helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan and suggests that he should have cancelled the flight having failed to obtain a weather report before taking off in foggy conditions at the time.
Bryant, his daughter Gianna and six of their friends were on their way to a basketball tournament at his Mamba Sports Academy when the helicopter crashed.
The suit states Zobayan was negligent in eight ways, including failing to properly assess the weather, flying into conditions he was not cleared for and failing to control the helicopter.
The lawsuit claims Vanessa Bryant is entitled to hundreds of millions of dollars in future lost earnings.
‘As a result of Kobe Bryant’s and GB’s deaths, Vanessa Bryant seeks economic damages, non-economic damages, prejudgment interest, punitive damages, and other relief as the Court deems just and proper,’ court papers filed as see by The Blast.
‘Although the total specific amount of personal injury damages that Plaintiff seeks is TBD, Kobe Bryant’s future lost earnings equal hundreds of millions of dollars,’ the new documents state.
In the lawsuit Bryant accuses pilot Zobayan of recklessness for taking off in when weather conditions were poor.
Zobayan, Bryant’s regular pilot, had been trying to navigate in heavy fog that limited visibility to the point that the Los Angeles police and sheriff’s departments had grounded their helicopter fleets.
Bryant, through the lawsuit claims the company was ‘in breach of its duty and that negligence caused the injuries and damages’.
The suit states Bryant’s husband and daughter were ‘killed as a direct result of the negligent conduct of the pilot who failed to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft.’
Under the visual flight rules Mr Zobayan was following, he was required to see where he was going. He had been cited by the Federal Aviation Administration in May 2015 for violating those rules by flying into reduced visibility air space, the lawsuit said.
In his last transmission, he told air traffic control that he was climbing to 4,000ft to get above the clouds. He was 100ft short of breaking through the cloud cover when the helicopter banked left and plunged into a grassy hillside, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
The NTSB has not concluded what caused the crash in Calabasas, on the outskirts of Los Angeles County, but said there was no sign of mechanical failure. A final report is not expected until next year.