Pilot’s Brother Files Lawsuit Blaming Kobe Bryant, Other Passengers For Helicopter Crash
Berge Zobayan has filed court papers as a representative of Ara George Zobayan in response to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Vanessa Bryant earlier this year.
Vanessa is the widow of late basketball legend Kobe Bryant who died alongside his daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter piloted by Ara.
Berge who is the brother to Ara filed the new court documents on May 8 arguing that all passengers are to blame for the fatal crash.
The crash that occurred on January 26 had Kobe, 41, his daughter Gianna aka “Gigi,” 13, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, John Altobelli, 56, Keri Altobelli, 46, Payton Chester, 13, Sarah Chester, 45 and Christina Mauser, 38 on board as passengers.
The legal documents state that “any injuries or damages to plaintiffs and/or their decedent were directly caused in full or in part by the negligence or fault of plaintiffs and/or their decedent, including their knowing and voluntary encounter with the risks involved and that this negligence was a substantial factor in causing their purported damages, for which this answering defendant bears no responsibility.”
Berge is also demanding a jury trial and lists Bryant’s surviving daughters — Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and 10-month-old Capri — as plaintiffs, according to the court documents.
We reported that on February 24, Vanessa filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ara and the helicopter company, Island Express. The 27-count complaint is seeking general damages, economic damages, punitive damages and more.
On February 7, The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released an investigative update on the helicopter crash, which HollywoodLife obtained. At the time, the report on the crash found no evidence of engine failure or mechanical issues. The investigation is still ongoing.
A public memorial to Bryant and the others who tragically died in the crash was held yesterday in February at the Staples Center, Los Angeles.