Families of Victims in Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash File Wrongful Death Suit

Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit against the same helicopter company in February.

A makeshift memorial is shown near the site of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant.

Image via Getty/Josh Lefkowitz

A makeshift memorial is shown near the site of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant.

TMZ has learned that the surviving members of the Altobelli and Mauser families have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company behind the January 26 crash that also killed Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. 

The suit claims 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.”

The crash claimed the lives of John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their daughter Alyssa, who played in the Mamba Sports Academy with Gianna. The Altobelli family is survived by their remaining two children. Christina Mauser, who was a coach at the Mamba Academy, leaves behind her husband, son, and two daughters. 

Island Express is being accused of negligence by the remaining loved ones, who are seeking damages caused by “an insurmountable amount of anguish on every level - physical, emotional, mental and otherwise.” 

The company was already expected to go bankrupt as a result of the lawsuit filed by Vanessa Bryant against them for the reckless behavior of pilot Ara Zobayan, who was also killed in crash. Even though Zobayan had been a longtime pilot for Bryant, Vanessa claims that he should have never been allowed to take flight that fateful day, since the inclement weather wasn’t conducive to flying. 

In response to Vanessa’s suit from February, Island Express called the crash a “tragic accident.” Since then, LAPD spokesperson Josh Rubenstein said the Air Support Division grounded its helicopters on the morning of January 26 due to poor visibility in the skies. “The weather situation did not meet our minimum standards for flying,” Rubenstein said. 

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