The shocking January 26 crash claimed the lives of nine victims in total.
The families of four of the victims killed alongside Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna have filed wrongful death lawsuits. This follows Vanessa Bryant who also reportedly filed a lawsuit after the January 26 crash in February.
The untimely crash took the lives of former college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa, who was a teammate of Gianna. Mamba Academy basketball coach Christina Mauser was also inside the helicopter when it was on its way to Bryant’s basketball facility. Additional lives lost included Sarah Chester, her daughter Payton and the pilot Ara Zoboyan, all nine onboard were killed.
TMZ reports the surviving members of the Altobelli family and the Mauser family, the remaining two Altobelli children and Christina Mauser’s husband claim the Island Express’s negligence is the reasoning behind the deaths.
The suit alleges the helicopter company, Island Express, “negligently and carelessly breached its duty to own, lease, manage, maintain, control, entrust, charter and operate the helicopter in question in a reasonable manner,” according to court documents. The remaining loved ones are seeking damages caused by “an insurmountable amount of anguish on every level – physical, emotional, mental and otherwise.”
Island Express was expected to go bankrupt following Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit which alleged the reckless behavior of pilot Ara Zoboyan. The suit also noted that the conditions the day of the incident weren’t conducive for flying. Bryant also expressed Zoboyan should not have been able to fly that day.
Directly following Vanessa Bryant’s suit, Island Express called the crash a “tragic accident.” According to Complex, an LAPD spokesperson Josh Rubenstein shared the Air Support Division grounded its helicopters on the morning of January 26 “due to poor visibility in the skies.”
Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind @robyn_mowatt.