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Pilot’s brother claims passengers at fault in fatal Kobe Bryant crash

The brother of the pilot in the fatal helicopter crash that killed NBA star Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others claimed in court documents filed Friday that the passengers were at fault and negligent. 

Attorneys for Berge Zobayan, who is the successor in interest for the late pilot Ara Zobayan, said in Los Angeles Superior Court filings that the injuries and deaths of passengers were “directly caused in full or in part by the negligence or fault of plaintiffs and/or their decedent,” CNN reported Monday.

Zobayan’s filing seeks to deny all claims from Vanessa Bryant’s wrongful death lawsuit filed in February, saying the passengers knew the risks involved with flying.

“That this negligence was a substantial factor in causing their purported damages, for which this answering defendant bears no responsibility,” the filing said, according to CNN and NBC News

Zobayan asks for judgement in his favor and for the dismissal of Bryant’s lawsuit, which accuses the late pilot and helicopter company Island Express of negligence.

The lawsuit from Kobe Bryant’s widow alleges Ara Zobayan and Island Express did not look at weather data or properly ground the flight because of the foggy conditions. 

An attorney for Vanessa Bryant did not immediately return a request for comment, and an Island Express spokesman declined to comment beyond what is in the court filing.

Other lawsuits from those whose family members died in the crash do not name the pilot as a defendant, according to the news outlets.

The late basketball star, his daughter, the pilot and all other passengers died in a helicopter crash northwest of Los Angeles on Jan. 26.

—Updated at 5:24 p.m.

Tags Bryant lawsuit California helicopter crash Island Express Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant death Kobe Bryant helicopter crash Lawsuit PILOT Vanessa Bryant wrongful death lawsuit
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