A man photographs a mural honoring NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter, who died in a helicopter crash, in Los Angeles, the United States, Feb. 16, 2020. (Xinhua/Qian Weizhong)
Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company. A memorial service is being held in Los Angeles to celebrate the lives of Kobe and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- Kobe Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, filed a lawsuit Monday against the company that owned the helicopter that crashed last month, claiming the lives of her husband, her 13-year-old daughter, and seven other victims.
According to U.S. celebrity-gossip site TMZ, the lawsuit alleges the company, Island Express, was only allowed to fly under visual flight rules, and the conditions the day of the crash were not conducive for such flying. TMZ was the first news outlet to report the shocking news that Kobe died at the helicopter crash.
Retired NBA superstar Kobe, his daughter Gianna, and the pilot, Ara George Zobayan, were among nine people killed in the crash amid foggy conditions in the hills above Calabasas in southern California on Jan. 26.
Zobayan was going 180 miles per hour in the heavy fog in a steep decline in the moments before it crashed, reported TMZ, citing the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also claims the pilot failed to properly monitor and assess the weather prior to takeoff, failed to obtain proper weather data prior to the flight, failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy condition, failed to maintain control of the helicopter and failed to avoid "natural obstacles" in the flight path.
The lawsuit does not list an amount of damages sought, but Vanessa is asking for punitive damages, claiming the pilot and Island Express were reckless, and the damages could be millions, according to TMZ.
Kobe and Vanessa Bryant, 37, married in 2001, and they had four daughters together.
A memorial service is being held at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Monday to celebrate the lives of Kobe and Gianna. ■