Vanessa Bryant, Families of Crash Victims Settle Wrongful Death Suit Against Pilot’s Estate
Vanessa Bryant, widow of the late NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, has agreed to settle a lawsuit against the pilot and owners of the helicopter that crashed last year, killing the Los Angeles Lakers legend, the Bryants' daughter, Gianna, and seven others.
Vanessa Bryant, her children and relatives of the additional victims filed a settlement agreement notice Tuesday with a federal judge here but terms of the confidential deal weren't disclosed.
If approved by the court, the settlement would end a negligence and wrongful death lawsuit filed against the estate of the pilot and the owner and operator of the helicopter that crashed into a hillside on Jan. 26, 2020.
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and six other passengers were flying from Orange County to a youth basketball tournament at his Mamba Sports Academy in Ventura County. The helicopter encountered thick fog in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles.
Pilot Ara Zobayan climbed sharply and had nearly broken through the clouds when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter banked abruptly and plunged into the Calabasas hills below, killing all nine aboard instantly before flames engulfed the wreckage.
The others killed were Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, who helped Bryant coach his daughter's basketball team; and Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton. Alyssa and Payton were Gianna's teammates.