Kobe Bryant’s wife files lawsuit for wrongful death against helicopter company

The wife of Kobe Bryant has launched a lawsuit against the helicopter company that owned the aircraft involved in the tragic crash.

Bryant, his daughter Gigi and seven others were killed when the helicopter they were travelling in went down in California last month.

According to TMZ, Vanessa Bryant believes that the aircraft should have never been placed in danger and the pilot was flying recklessly.

The lawsuit alleges that Island Express were only allowed to fly under certain visual flight rules.

It is claimed that the foggy conditions in the area on the day of the crash would break such regulations, meaning the flight should have been grounded.

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The fog was low and it was thought the helicopter was flying in conditions which would have been blinding for the pilot shortly before it went down.

It is also claimed in the lawsuit that the aircraft was flying at 180mph in the heavy fog and also in a steep decline.

Lawyers leading the case have also claimed that the pilot, who has been named as Ara George Zobayan, was previously disciplined in 2015 for breaking rules on the visual flight minimum requirements, as he flew into an airspace of limited visibility.

News of the lawsuit comes as family, friends and fans of Bryant celebrated his life with a memorial in Los Angeles.

Thousands of people are expected to pack the Staples Center in LA, with the likes of NBA legends Michael Jordan and Jerry West in town for the event.

Speaking when Bryant passed away, Jordan said: "I loved Kobe, he was like a little brother to me. We used to talk often, and I will miss those conversations very much."

More than 88,000 people applied for tickets in just five hours of news of the event going live.

It has been branded as a "celebration of life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant".

Writing in her first social media post following the crash, Vanessa spoke about the devastation it has caused the family but expressed huge gratitude following the outpouring of support from those around the globe.

She said on Instagram: "My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time.

"Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them.

"We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri.

"We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately."There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon.

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"I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless — and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever.

"Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality.

"To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org.

"To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org.

"Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family"

  • Nba
  • Kobe Bryant

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