Kobe Bryant's Death Cost His Family 'Hundreds of Millions,' Court Filing Alleges

Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express following his death in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. Now details of the court documents reveal that Vanessa says she is "entitled to damages" totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. This is based on the money that he would have earned in sports and entertainment.

"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 lawsuit reads, per The Blast. Vanessa did not specify a total amount of personal injury damages in the documents obtained by The Blast. However, she listed the lost potential. "Kobe Bryant's future lost earnings equal hundreds of millions of dollars," the document states.

The lawsuit stalled due to the ongoing investigation. The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has not released an accident report following the January incident. Until this happens, they "can not initiate discovery."

According to the documents, the helicopter pilot's family intends to file a motion to move the case outside of Los Angeles County. The reason listed in the documents is that "an impartial jury cannot be empaneled in Los Angeles Superior Court in this matter." The family reportedly does not believe that a jury in an area dominated by Lakers fandom could be impartial in the case surrounding Bryant's death.

When Vanessa originally filed the lawsuit against Island Express, TMZ obtained copies of the documents. The outlet reported that Vanessa claimed the helicopter should have never been in danger before the accident. The lawsuit also reportedly said the pilot was going 180 miles per hour in heavy fog and he failed to monitor the weather prior to takeoff. In addition, the lawsuit also stated that the pilot, Ara George Zobayan, was disciplined in 2015 for flying into the airspace of reduced visibility.


A representative for Zobayan responded to the lawsuit and claimed that the pilot was not the cause of the accident. The representative claimed that the passengers were responsible. TMZ said that the lawsuit response did not address how the passengers may have been negligent.

Families of the other victims also filed lawsuits against Island express. They claimed that the company was negligent in hiring Zobayan and the decision to fly in the weather conditions the day of the crash. They also claimed the company "breached" its "duty to own, lease, manage, maintain, control, entrust, charter and operate" the helicopter at the crash.