Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash: Families of Victims File Wrongful Death Lawsuit

It has been nearly three months since the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. Bryant's widow Vanessa filed a wrongful death lawsuit shortly before the star Lakers player was honored with a public memorial. Now the other families involved in the crash have launched their own wrongful death suits against the company.

According to TMZ, the Altobelli and Mauser families claim that Island Express helicopter tours are the reason for their loved one's deaths. They add that the company was negligent in the hiring of pilot Ara Zobayan and in the decision to fly in the weather conditions the day of the crash. They also claim the company "breached" its "duty to own, lease, manage, maintain, control, entrust, charter and operate" the helicopter at the center of the crash.

The lawsuit details that the crash happened as a "direct result" of Island Express' "negligent behavior" which has taken a physical and emotional toll on both families.

All of it should sound familiar when compared to the lawsuit filed by Bryant back in February. In that complaint, Bryant singled out Zobayan and the citations against him by the FAA in 2015.

"On information and belief, Defendant Island Express Helicopters employed Defendant Zobayan with conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others and authorized or ratified his wrong conduct, and itself engaged in conduct with malice, oppression, or fraud," Bryant's suit read.

Island Express ceased operations following the crash and reports following Bryant's lawsuit making headlines indicated that the insurance company behind the company wouldn't be able to cover the full amount of damages if found liable.


The filing of Bryant's lawsuit and the latest by the other families affected by the crash, highlights just how much of a roller coaster the past few months have been. Vanessa Bryant captured this best with her emotional speech at the Celebration of Life for her husband and their daughter.

"God knew they couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to him together," Bryant said at the memorial. "Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nati, Bibi and Coco. We're still the best team. We love and miss you, Boo Boo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven until we meet again one day. We love you both and miss you. Forever and always. Mommy."