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Vanessa Bryant settles lawsuit over helicopter company in deadly crash

Vanessa Bryant and family members of those who died in the January 2020 crash have reached a confidential settlement against the helicopter company involved in the deadly crash that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others.

The settlement comes two days after Vanessa Bryant shared an Instagram post for her deceased husband on the second Father’s Day after his death.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant)

“The material terms of the settlement and releases are known to the settling parties and include that the terms of the settlement are confidential,” according to a document filed in Los Angeles federal court.

People, meanwhile, have mixed reactions to the settlement. Others are praying for her loss, but others criticize her for being greedy for money.

Some people sided with Vanessa Bryant, saying that her settlement would “never be enough” compared to her loss.

However, there are still other people who regard her lawsuit as being “money hungry.”

Involved in the lawsuit were the Island Express Helicopters, Island Express Holding Corp., and the estate of Ara Zobayan, the pilot who also died in the crash.

Vanessa Bryant and along with three other families of the victims sought general, economic and punitive damages.

Less than a month after the incident, Vanessa Bryant filed her lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters claiming that Ara Zobayan, the pilot of the flight, “failed to properly monitor and assess the weather prior to takeoff,” “failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy conditions” and “failed to properly and safely operate the helicopter resulting in a crash.”

She added that the helicopter company “knew or should have known” that Zoboyan had been previously cited by the Federal Aviation Administration for violating “the visual flight rules minimums by flying into an area of reduced visibility from weather conditions.”

Moreover, she also accused the helicopter owner, Island Express Holding Corp., of failing to equip its helicopter with a traffic avoidance and warning system. 

In a separate lawsuit against the County of Los Angeles, Vanessa Bryant has accused a county public safety worker of improperly sharing photos of her deceased husband and daughter from the crash site. The county says, however, that her lawsuit has no basis and is fighting back. 

Zobayan, 50, died in the January 2020 crash in Calabasas, northwest of Los Angeles along with the Los Angeles Lakers icon Kobe Bryant, 41, his daughter Gianna Bryant, 13, Payton Chester, 13, Sarah Chester, 45, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, and Christina Mauser, 38.

 The group had been on their way to a youth basketball game at Kobe’s Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, when the helicopter crashed into a mountain.

 In response to the lawsuit, a representative for Island Express Helicopters said that “This was a tragic accident. We will have no comment on the pending litigation.”

The company also argued that the victims “had actual knowledge of all of the circumstances, particular dangers, and an appreciation of the risks involved and the magnitude thereof,” thus “voluntarily assume the risk of the accident, injury, and damages” of flying in the helicopter.

 

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