Vanessa Bryant files wrongful death lawsuit against helicopter operator

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Kobe Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, are shown during an NBA All-Star Saturday Night at American Airlines Center in Dallas on Feb. 13,2010.
RON T. ENNIS/FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM/TNS

BY NATHAN FENNO
LOS ANGELES TIMES/TNS

LOS ANGELES – As mourners gathered at Staples Center on Monday for a memorial service celebrate the lives of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, attorneys for Vanessa Bryant filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that operated the helicopter that crashed last month and claimed the lives of her husband, daughter and seven other people.

The complaint in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp. alleged that pilot Ara Zobayan, who also died in the crash, failed “to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft” and was “negligent.”

“Defendant Island Express Helicopters’ breach of its duty and negligence caused the injuries and damages complained of herein and Plaintiffs’ deceased, Kobe Bryant, was killed as a direct result of the negligent conduct of Zobayan for which Defendant Island Express Helicopters is vicariously liable in all respects,” the lawsuit said.

The 27-count complaint seeks general damages, economic damages, punitive damages and more.

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