An unspeakable loss. Kobe Bryant’s death cost Vanessa and their family “hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by his wife in February.
E! News reported on Monday, June 8, that is seeking “economic damages, non-economic damages, prejudgment interest, punitive damages, and other relief as the Court deems just and proper” from Island Express, the company that owned the helicopter and hired the pilot that killed Kobe and the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. In a 72-paged wrongful death lawsuit obtained by E! News, Vanessa filed a claim in the Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that that company, its agents and employees (including the pilot Ara George Zobayan, who also died in the crash of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter) are responsible for her husband and had a “duty to use that degree of care that an ordinarily careful and prudent pilot would use under the same or similar circumstances.”
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.”
In the lawsuit, Vanessa also accused the pilot of many faults that led to her husband and daughter’s death. Among the claims is that the pilot failed to properly monitor and assess the weather before takeoff, failed to obtain proper weather data before the flight, failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy conditions, failed to maintain control of the helicopter in flight, failed to properly avoid natural obstacles in his flight path, failed to keep a safe distance between the helicopter and natural obstacles, and failed to properly and safely operate the helicopter, which led to the deaths of Kobe and Gigi, as well as six others.
“This was a tragic accident. We will have no comment on the pending litigation,” Island Express said in a statementn at the time.
Berge Zobayan, a representative for the pilot, said in court documents in May that “the answering defendant bears no responsibility.” The representative also claimed that any injuries or damages 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.”