A few weeks after Kobe Bryant and Gianna's tragic death in January, their pilot Ara Zobayan was reported to have broken flight rules on purpose. A week later, Vanessa Bryant had sued the helicopter company in a wrongful death lawsuit. The girls' basketball coach Christina Mauser, Gigi's teammate Alyssa Altobelli and her parents John and Keri, Payton Chester and her mother Sarah Chester were other victims of the tragedy.
In a recent statement, The Island Express company that owned the helicopter which crashed, responded to Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit. As per the company, the passengers on board 'voluntarily assumed the risk of the accident' before the crash. The news was reported by TMZ, who quoted the company's statement. The company barred and reduced Vanessa's claims for damages as both Bryant and Gianna were aware of the 'particular dangers' and its magnitude.
The lawsuit filed by Vanessa against Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp. sought general, economic and punitive damages. According to the lawsuit, the company’s breach of ‘duty and negligence’ was the cause of their deaths. It added that Ara Zobayan’s ‘negligent conduct’ cause Bryant and Gianna’s death, for which the helicopter company is ‘vicariously liable’.
The company clarified that the blame of the crash should not fall on Zobayan entirely. As previously reported, Ara Zobayan was trying to climb up while he was around 100 feet above the ground. When the helicopter crashed, it was travelling at 184 miles per hour. Here is what the brother of Kobe Bryant's pilot had to say about the crash after Vanessa's lawsuit.
Zobayan's brother, Berge, also issued an answer to Vanessa's statement. Like the company, he too stated that Bryant and Gianna were both aware of the risks, which is why Ara Zobayan cannot be the only one blamed for the tragedy. He filed the answer in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Friday (Saturday IST).