Mark J. Terrill / AP
Almost three months after Los Angeles basketball icon Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash, family members of four died in the crash are suing the owners of the helicopter for those responsible for the deaths.
The two lawsuits, filed electronically Sunday in Los Angeles Superior Court, allege that Island Express Helicopter, Inc. and its the owner Island Express Holding Corp., was negligent and negligent, which was an “important factor” in the accident.
The plaintiffs John and Alexis Altobelli, whose parents and sister were killed in the January 26 accident, suffered economic and non-economic damage as a result of the alleged negligence of the companies, according to the trial.
Damian Dovarganes / AP
An almost identical complaint was filed on behalf of the widower and children of Christina Mauser. Mauser was a basketball coach at the Mamba Sports Academy.
In February a preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board found no signs of engine failure.
What started as a routine trip from Santa Ana, California to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks quickly changed; Despite heavy fog and bad weather, pilot Ara Zobayan requested special authorization from the flight controllers to continue flying.
The NTSB discovered that Zobayan flew in the clouds and lost control of the helicopter; shortly after, the plane crashed on a hill in Calabassas, killing the nine people on board.
The helicopter was carrying Christina Mauser, coach of the Mamba Sports Academy women’s team for which Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester played. They were also on board, as were Altobelli’s parents and Chester’s mother.
Lawyers for Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful death complaint in February, the same day a memorial service was held for her daughter and the Lakers superstar at Staples Center.
In this complaint, the complainants contend that Zobayan did not “exercise ordinary caution in flying the aircraft in question”.