Vanessa Bryant has reportedly filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that operated the helicopter that crashed last month and killed nine people including her husband, Kobe Bryant, and daughter, Gigi. The suit—which alleges that the pilot was reckless and the chopper never should have been cleared to fly—was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp, according to the Los Angeles Times. It reportedly claims the company’s “breach of its duty and negligence caused the injuries and damages” and alleges that Kobe and Gigi were “killed as a direct result of the negligent conduct” of pilot Ara Zobayan who failed “to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft.” The 27-count complaint seeks damages for unspecified amounts, including punitive damages, money for burial and funeral expenses, and damages for the “pre-impact” emotional trauma that Kobe and Gigi endured as the helicopter navigated through heavy fog right before it crashed into a Calabasas hillside, according to TMZ.
The suit reportedly claims that the helicopter was only allowed to fly under visual flight rules, not under special flight rules, due to the weather conditions on the day of the Jan. 26 accident. “On information and belief, Defendant Island Express Helicopters employed Defendant Zobayan with conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others and authorized or ratified his wrong conduct, and itself engaged in conduct with malice, oppression, or fraud,” the complaint reads.