The families of four victims in Kobe Bryant’s deadly helicopter crash have just filed lawsuits against the company who owned the aircraft, claiming they have some responsibility for the accident.
According to new legal documents, obtained by The Blast, the surviving members of the Altobelli and Mauser families are suing Island Express for “Negligence” in Los Angeles County Court.
In the two similar lawsuits, filed the same day, the families claim the company was “negligent and careless, in regards to owning, leasing, managing, maintaining, controlling, entrusting, chartering, and operating the (helicopter) was the direct, legal and proximate cause, and were a substantial factor in causing, the deaths” of John, Keri, and Alyssa Altobelli and Christina Mauser.
In the filings, the family members claim that by “reason of the careless, negligent, and unlawful acts and/or omissions of the defendants, and each of them…and as a direct consequence of the crash — have sustained wrongful death and survival damages, economic and non-economic damages, funeral and burial expenses, and all other damages.”
John, Keri, and Alyssa Altobelli and Christina Mauser were killed when the helicopter they were riding in, along with Kobe Bryant and his daughter, slammed into a hillside killing everyone on board.
As we reported, the NTSB is currently investigating if the pilot of the helicopter should have been flying in such poor weather that fateful morning.
The families follow in the footsteps of Kobe’s wife, Vanessa Bryant, who is also suing the helicopter company, claiming the pilot should have never left the ground that day after learning of the weather. She is also claiming the company had knowledge of the pilots past flying citations for similar conduct.
In Vanessa’s lawsuit, she claimed the specific helicopter the group was using was only able to fly under conditions where the pilot is able to navigate their surroundings visually.
This specific aircraft was NOT, however, equipped with the technology which would allow it to have navigated in heavy fog.
At the time of the deadly crash, the fog in the area of the accident was very low and thick. It appears, at the time, the pilot lost visibility and crashed.
Vanessa is also suing the estate of the pilot (Ara Zobayan) for “failing to properly assess the weather prior to takeoff, failed to obtain proper weather date prior to the subject flight, failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy conditions, improperly flew the helicopter into instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions, failed to maintain proper control of the helicopter in flight, failed to properly avoid natural obstacles in the flight path and failed to properly and safely operate the helicopter resulting in a crash.”
The lawsuits are seeking financial damages against the company but does list an exact amount.
Vanessa’s lawsuit against the same company is ongoing.