Vanessa Bryant Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit Over Helicopter Crash That Killed Kobe Bryant

Vanessa Bryant and other families of the victims have reportedly reached an agreement with the company that operated the helicopter involved in the crash.

Vanessa Bryant

Image via Getty/Chris Delmas/AFP

Vanessa Bryant

Vanessa Bryant has reportedly settled a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters—the company that operated the aircraft involved in the deaths of Kobe Bryant, their daughter Gianna, and seven others.

According to ABC 7, Bryant and her co-plaintiffs reached a confidential settlement with the company earlier this week, nearly 17 months after the fatal helicopter crash in Calabasas. Kobe and Gianna’s fellow passengers—Alyssa Altobelli, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, and Christina Mauser—were all killed in the crash, along with the helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan, whose estate was listed as a defendant. The Altobelli, Chester, and Mauser families were reportedly involved in the settlement.

The terms of the agreement, which has yet to be approved by the court, have not been disclosed. 

News of the lawsuit became public less than a month after the deadly crash. The 72-page, 27-count lawsuit argued the incident was “a direct result of the negligent conduct of Zobayan for which Defendant Island Express Helicopters is vicariously liable in all respects.” It also alleged Zoboyan had failed to “use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft.”

“Defendant Island Express Helicopters authorized, directed and/or permitted with full knowledge that the subject helicopter was flying into unsafe weather conditions,” the complaint read, “[The company] promoted and engaged in unnecessary and needlessly risky means of transport under the circumstances.”

Bryant sought damages—punitive, economic, and non-economic—as well as prejudgment interest and “other relief as the Court deems just and proper.” Suit also stated “Kobe Bryant’s future lost earnings equals hundreds of millions of dollars.”

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