Families of Kobe Bryant crash victims join Vanessa Bryant, sue helicopter company

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The companies that operated the helicopter in the Kobe Bryant crash are facing multiple wrongful death lawsuits. (James Anderson/NTSB via Getty Images)
The companies that operated the helicopter in the Kobe Bryant crash are facing multiple wrongful death lawsuits. (James Anderson/NTSB via Getty Images)

Family members of four of the passengers killed in the helicopter crash that killed nine people, including Kobe Bryant, have filed two wrongful death lawsuits against the companies that owned and operated the helicopter, according to the Associated Press.

The two lawsuits follow a February lawsuit filed by Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa Bryant. She is suing the company that owned the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter that crashed into a Los Angeles-area hillside in January.

The latest suits were filed Sunday in a Los Angeles Superior Court against Island Express Helicopters Inc. — which operated the aircraft — and its owner Island Express Holding Corp.

Altobelli family sues

One suit was filed by two children of the Altobelli family, according to the report. Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa all died in the January 26 crash that saw the helicopter being flown in foggy conditions. Alyssa was a teammate of Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna, who also died in the crash.

Thousands of people attended a memorial for the Altobellis held at Angel Stadium in January.

The other suit was filed by the husband and three children of Christina Mauser, a coach of Gianna’s basketball team who also died in the crash. The helicopter was carrying passengers to a youth basketball tournament.

Pilot not named in new lawsuits

Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit named pilot Ara Zobayan — who also died in the crash — as a defendant. She accuses Zobayan of carelessly flying in the fog and states that he should have aborted the flight, according to AP.

The suits filed on Sunday don’t name Zobayan, according to the report. All of the lawsuits accuse the companies of being careless and negligent, according to the report.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded in February that there was no engine failure associated with the crash. The New York Times reported in February that Island Express did not have proper certification for its pilots to fly in the foggy conditions present on the day of the crash.

Island Express suspended operations in the days following the crash.

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