Attorneys for the recently-widowed Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit against the helicopter company that operated the helicopter that crashed last month that claimed her husband Kobe, their eldest daughter Gianna, John Altebelli ,his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser; Sarah and Payton Chester and pilot Ara Zobayan.
The 27-page complaint was filed against Island Express Holding Corporation and Island Express Helicopters alleges pilot Ara Zobayan failed in his duty “to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft” and was negligent.
The suit further alleges that Zobayan, who was Kobe’s longtime pilot, of committing multiple negligent acts including failing to monitor and access the weather and failure to maintain a safe distance between natural obstacles and the helicopter.
“Defendant Island Express Helicopters authorized, directed and/or permitted a flight with full knowledge that the subject helicopter was flying into unsafe weather conditions,”
Zobayan ran afoul of the FAA back in 2015 when he was disciplined by the administration for a weather related violation.
The complaint further states, “ 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.”
Additionally, the suit also alleges that Island Express Helicopters did not provide “adequate training and/or supervision” after the FAA citation “to ensure the negligent action did not re-occur” and that the company promoted and engaged in unnecessary and needlessly risky means of transport under the circumstances.”
Other complaints alleged in the suit states the company did not possess “an adequate safety policy for cancellation of flights into known unsafe weather conditions.” Island Express is also accused of being negligent for the lack of a terrain alarm system on the helicopter involved in crash. The installation of such alarms are not federally mandated.
The suit also goes after Zobayan’s estate and seeks compensatory and punitive damages, but the amount has not been specified.
Perhaps this round of litigiousness will also extend to people such as Abigail Disney, Rose McGowan, and Evan Rachel Wood for their slanderous statements about Kobe in the hours and days immediately following the tragedy.