The family of the pilot flying the helicopter that crashed killing Kobe Bryant has responded to wife, Vanessa Bryant’s, wrongful death lawsuit — claiming the NBA star knew the risks of flying on that fateful day.
According to new legal documents, obtained by The Blast, Berge Zobayan (wife of pilot Ara Zobayan) filed an answer in the ongoing wrongful death lawsuit pointing out several reasons the blames should not be solely put on her dead husband.
In the filing, Zobayan’s lawyers state any injuries sustained in the accident happened after Kobe’s and the other passengers’ ‘voluntary encounter’ with the risks of flying.
“Any injuries or damages to plaintiffs and/or their decedent were directly caused in full or in part by the negligence or fault of plaintiffs and/or their decedent, including their knowing and voluntary encounter with the risks involved, and that this negligence was a substantial factor in causing their purported damages, for which this answering defendant bears no responsibility,” the filing reads.
As you know, tragically, everyone on board of the helicopter was killed in the crash — so at this point, there is no way to know what the conversations were had between the pilot and any of the passengers, including Kobe.
In the document, Zobayan’s family also points out that several third parties could have added to the situation, accounting for the responsibility of causing the deadly accident.
They concluded, “that any injuries or damages to plaintiffs and/or their decedent were directly caused in full or in part by the negligence, fault or wrongful conduct of third parties, whom this answering defendant neither controlled nor had the right to control, and for which this answering defendant bears no responsibility.”
As we reported, Vanessa Bryant sued the pilot’s estate along with the company which owned the helicopter saying the chopper should have never left the ground on that day.
In the lawsuit, Vanessa states the specific aircraft was only allowed to fly under ‘visual flight rules,’ and the weather conditions that morning were too poor to fly. She claims the pilot was going 180 MPH in heavy fog before slamming into a hillside in Calabasas, CA.
Vanessa blamed the pilot for not properly assessing and monitoring the weather prior to take-off and didn’t abort the flight as soon as it appeared to be too foggy to fly.
In the lawsuit, Bryant pointed out Zobayan was disciplined in 2015 for violating the visual flight rule minimums by flying into an area with minimal visibility.
The suit is seeking damages — which could be in the millions — for loss of love, affection, care, society, service, comfort, support, right to support, companionship, solace or moral support and expectations of future support and counseling.
The case is ongoing.