Vanessa Bryant Files Lawsuit, Blames Helicopter Pilot For Kobe's Death

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This week saw an emotional public memorial for Kobe Bryant as his friends and family said their tearful goodbyes to the NBA legend.

Vanessa Bryant also filed a wrongful death suit against the helicopter company that she holds responsible for Kobe and Gia's deaths.

Kobe Bryant and Family

TMZ reports that Vanessa Bryant is suing Island Express, the company whose helicopter crashed on January 26, claiming the lives of nine.

In court documents, she says that the helicopter should never have embarked upon its final flight.

According to the lawsuit, Island Express is only permitted to fly when they can clearly see to a certain range with the naked eye.

Allegedly, that foggy Sunday morning was outside of the bounds for safe helicopter operation.

Vanessa Bryant and Kobe Bryant

As TMZ has reported, the pilot was said to be in "blinding conditions" due to fog before the fateful crash.

That is not to say that the blame is placed solely upon the weather and poor visibility.

The lawsuit says that the helicopter traveling at 180 and at a steep decline when it crashed in Calabasas.

Court documents accuse the late pilot of a litany of wrongdoings.

Gianna Bryant

The suit says that the pilot failed to properly monitor and assess weather conditions prior to takeoff.

It also says that the pilot failed to abort the flight once weather conditions became apparent during the flight.

The lawsuit accuses the pilot of failing to maintain control of the helicopter.

It also alleges that he failed to avoid natural obstacles over the course of the flight path.

Kobe, Vanessa

The lawsuit accuses Island Express of taking unnecessary risks, effectively gambling with the lives of those onboard -- and losing.

Vanessa is also seeking damages for "pre-impact terror."

We have all caught ourselves imagining what those final moments of horror must have been for the passengers, especially for the young girls.

The emotional trauma from that was only cut short because all of the vctims died, and Vanessa wants to make the company pay for that.

Vanessa Bryant Photograph

The court documents say that Ara George Zobayan, the late pilot, had previously been disciplined in 2015.

The alleged grievance at the time was for flying into airspace with reduced visibility, violating the visual flight rule.

The suit also says that the helicopter itself was unsafe. It does not specify what was specifically unsafe about it, mechanically speaking.

TMZ speculates that this may be an acknowledgement that the helicopter was not designed for that particular weather.

Kobe Bryant, Wife

Vanessa is also seeking damages for "loss of love, affection, care, society, service, comfort, support, right to support."

The list continues with "companionship, solace or moral support, and expectations of future support and counseling."

In other words, Vanessa -- and others -- lost dear loved ones and can never, ever get them back.

Vanessa is also suing them for loss of income and for funeral and burial expenses. She does not specify the amount that she is seeking.

Vanessa Honors Kobe

Our society hardwires so many of us to cynically dismiss people who file lawsuits over tragedies.

"Ambulance chasers" is a common derisive term for personal injury attorneys, for example.

But these lawsuits are designed to get compensation and civil court justice for victims, particularly when no criminal offense was perpetrated.

Vanessa Bryant is already set for life. Her goal now is to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again to any other family.

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Kobe Bryant Biography

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Kobe Bryant sure can ball. Teenage girls other than his wife (pictured). He's also pretty good at hoops, you may say. He scored 81 points... More »
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Kobe Bryant