Vanessa Bryant Sues For Wrongful Death Ahead Of Devastating Memorial For Kobe and Gianna
Kobe Bryant's widow Vanessa has filed a wrongful death suit against the company responsible for a helicopter that crashed last month, killing the basketball great, their daughter Gianna, and several others.
According to a copy of the suit, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan allegedly failed "to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft" when he took off in extremely foggy conditions that had even seen police choppers grounded in the area that day.
It also claims Island Express Helicopters was “negligent” and caused the death of Kobe, Gianna and seven others on board.
“Defendant Island Express Helicopters’ breach of its duty and negligence caused the injuries and damages complained of herein and Plaintiffs’ deceased, Kobe Bryant, was killed as a direct result of the negligent conduct of Zobayan for which Defendant Island Express Helicopters is vicariously liable in all respects,” the lawsuit states, according to the Times.
According to TMZ, the helicopter had been travelling 180 miles per hour before crashing into a side of a mountain, killing everyone on board.
The news comes as a memorial event for Kobe and Gianna kicked off at the Staples Center in LA on Monday, where Vanessa gave a heartfelt speech dedicated to her late husband and 13-year-old daughter, where she referred to Kobe as her "soulmate".
“I couldn’t see him as a celebrity, nor just an incredible basketball player,” she said. “He was my sweet husband, and the beautiful father of our children. He was mine.”
“God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other," she added.
"He had to bring them home to heaven together. Babe you take care of our GiGi, can I got Nani, BB, and Coco. We are still the best team. We love and miss you booboo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace, and have fun and have fun in Heaven. Until we meet again. We love you both and miss you. Forever and always. Mummy,” she concluded.
Stars such as Jimmy Kimmel, Beyonce, and fellow NBA great Michael Jordan also paid tribute to the pair during the emotional ceremony, which saw around 20,000 people in attendance.