Families of four victims killed in the Kobe Bryant crash have joined the NBA legend’s widow in filing wrongful death lawsuits against the helicopter company, a report said.
Former college baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa, who played basketball with Gianna Bryant, along with girls basketball coach Christina Mauser, were on their way to Bryant’s basketball facility for the 13-year-old hoopsters’ game when the chopper crashed on January 26 in California, killing all nine on board.
The Altobelli and Mauser families claim 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,” TMZ reported, citing court documents.
The private chopper, which crashed amid dense fog flew despite weather conditions not being up to the Los Angeles Police Department’s “standard for flying”. The exact cause of the crash has yet to be determined by authorities.
Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Kobe, sued the California-based helicopter company in February. The company was not licensed to fly by cockpit instruments when visibility was compromised, the New York Times reported shortly after the crash; however, pilot Ara Zobayan was given special clearance to fly, according to CNN. Zobayan, Sarah Chester and her 13-year-old daughter Payton, who also was on the basketball team, were also killed in the crash.