Kobe Bryant Crash Victims’ Families File Wrongful Death Lawsuits Against Helicopter Company

The families of four people killed in the Kobe Bryant crash followed Vanessa Bryant’s lead and filed wrongful death lawsuits against the helicopter company, Us Weekly confirms.

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The surviving members of the Altobelli and Mauser families claimed that Island Express Helicopters negligently and carelessly breached its duty to own, lease, manage, maintain, control, entrust, charter and operate the helicopter in question in a reasonable manner.

The Altobellis and Mausers are seeking unspecified damages for the anguish that the aftermath of the crash has caused them.

Kobe Bryant Crash Victims Families File Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Kobe Bryant attends Variety and Sports Illustrated Sports Entertainment Summit on July 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Rob Latour/Variety/Shutterstock

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Vanessa, 37, previously filed a wrongful death suit against Island Express Helicopters in February. She claimed in court documents obtained by Us Weekly at the time that pilot Ara Zobayan, who was also killed in the crash, was “negligent” and failed “to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft.”

The January 26 tragedy claimed the lives of Kobe, 41, and his daughter Gianna, 13; Gianna’s basketball teammates Alyssa Altobelli, 14, and Payton Chester, 13; Alyssa’s parents, John Altobelli, 56, and Keri Altobelli, 46; Payton’s mother, Sarah Chester, 45; the girls’ coach Christina Mauser, 38; and pilot Zobayan, 50.

The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner announced on January 29 that after “round-the-clock testing and analysis of DNA,” the cause of death for all nine people was blunt trauma, and the manner of death was certified as an accident.

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Kobe Bryant Crash Victims Families File Wrongful Death Lawsuits Kobe Bryant, Vanessa Bryant, Gianna Bryant and Natalia Bryant
Kobe Bryant, Vanessa Bryant, Gianna Bryant and Natalia Bryant attend the premiere of ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ on February 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Kobe and Gianna are survived by Vanessa and the couple’s daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 10 months.

The former model commemorated what would have been her 19th wedding anniversary with the late Los Angeles Lakers player on April 18 via Instagram. She shared a photo of red roses from Natalia, Bianka, Capri and celebrity floral designer Jeff Leatham, as well as a pink bouquet from Kobe’s former teammate Pau Gasol and his wife, Catherine McDonnell. “So thoughtful of all of you,” Vanessa wrote.

Us Weekly has reached out to Island Express Helicopters for comment.

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