Vanessa Bryant is reportedly seeking substantial damages against California helicopter company over the January crash that killed her husband, NBA star Kobe Bryant, and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
According to court documents obtained by multiple news outlets, Kobe Bryant’s untimely death resulted in “hundreds of millions” of dollars in lost earnings for the family.
Vanessa Bryant is seeking compensation from the helicopter company and from the estate of Zobayan.
“As a result of Kobe Bryant’s and GB’s deaths, Vanessa Bryant seeks economic damages, non-economic damages, prejudgment interest, punitive damages, and other relief as the Court deems just and proper,” according to a new claim filed last Friday (June 5) at the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
“Although the total specific amount of personal injury damages that Plaintiff seeks is TBD, Kobe Bryant’s future lost earnings equal hundreds of millions of dollars.”
In February, Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters, the company that operated the helicopter that killed her husband, daughter, and seven others.
In the lawsuit, Kobe Bryant’s widow claimed that helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan may have been negligent and that he had a duty to care for the passengers.
However, the Associated Press reported in May that attorneys for Berge Zobayan alleged that Kobe Bryant knew the risks of flying in a helicopter, and thus, Vanessa Bryant is not entitled to damages. Island Express has also said that the company is not responsible for the crash, calling it “an act of God” and “an unavoidable accident,” according to the AP.
Kobe Bryant’s death triggered an outpouring of sadness and tributes around the world. A five-time NBA champion, Bryant became a successful entrepreneur and filmmaker in retirement. He was the first professional athlete to win an Oscar for his short film, “Dear Basketball.”
At the time of his death, Forbes estimated Kobe Bryant’s wealth to be $600 million.
The basketball star had endorsed more than 20 brands and placed earnings into many business ventures. When he was in the NBA, Bryant had the NBA’s highest salary for six straight seasons, according to Forbes.
Kobe and Gianna Bryant were among the eight passengers killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California on Jan. 26. Pilot Ara Zobayan also died.
According to the new claim, the families of victims Christina Mauser, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester and Payton Chester have also filed lawsuits.