Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryants widow, is taking legal action less than a month after her husband and daughter were killed in a helicopter crash among seven others. 

Vanessa’s attorneys submitted a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters. The 72-page lawsuit accuses Ara Zobayan, the pilot of the helicopter that crashed, of failing to properly moniter and assess the weather prior to takeoff, failing to obtain proper weather data prior to the subject flight, failing to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy conditions, failing to properly maintain control of the helicopter in flight, failing to keep a safe distance between the helicopter and natural obstacles and failing to properly operate the helicopter, resulting in a crash.

Federal Aviation Administration records show Zobayan was reprimanded five years ago for flying without permission.

In a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, Josh Rubenstein, Los Angeles Police Department spokesman, reported that the department’s Air Support Division grounded its helicopters that morning because “the weather situation did not meet our minimum standards for flying.” In a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, a witness who was present in the area at the time of the crash stated that the hillside was “surrounded by mist.”


The lawsuit has been filed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The lawsuit does not seek a specific amount of money, it seeks general, economic and punitive damages.

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