Watch CBS News

2 Families Sue Helicopter Company In Kobe Bryant Crash

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — Two more lawsuits have been filed in the January helicopter crash in Calabasas amid foggy conditions which claimed the lives of Lakers star Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others.

NTSB Investigators Continue To Work On Site Of Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Crash
CALABASAS, CA - JANUARY 28: Investigators work at the scene of the helicopter crash, where former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died, on January 28, 2020 in Calabasas, California. Kobe and "Gigi" were among nine people were perished in the crash as they were flying to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where he was going to coach her in a tournament game. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

The two lawsuits on behalf of three members of one family -- and a woman who helped coach Gianna -- were filed electronically Sunday in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Island Express Helicopters Inc., which operated the crashed Sikorsky, and its owner, Island Express Holding Corp.

Vanessa Bryant, Kobe's widow and Gianna's mother, also sued the two companies back on Feb. 24, the same day as the large public memorial at Staples Center.

However, Vanessa's lawsuit included the estate of the helicopter's pilot, Ara Zobayan, while Sunday's lawsuits do not.

All three suits allege that the two companies were careless and negligent. Vanessa's lawsuit adds that Zobayan was careless and negligent to fly in fog and should have aborted the flight.

One suit was filed by two surviving children of Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli and his wife Keri. Their daughter Alyssa played basketball with Gianna. Another suit was filed by the husband and three children of Christina Mauser, who helped Bryant coach the girls' basketball team.

On the morning of Jan. 26, Kobe, Gianna and seven others were killed when the helicopter they were riding in crashed in the Calabasas hills amid heavy fog.

The helicopter had departed from John Wayne Airport in Orange County and was bound for Camarillo, with the passengers on board heading to Kobe's Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where he was set to coach Gianna in a tournament game.

In its preliminary report, the National Transportation Safety Board revealed that there was no evidence the chopper's engines had failed prior to going down.

A person who answered the phone at Island Express Helicopters declined to comment Monday, and an email from The Associated Press requesting comment was not immediately returned.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.