The National Basketball Association’s pain from missing one of its primary ambassadors continues, but the lawsuit to settle his wrongful death allegations is over.
Vanessa Bryant, widow of the iconic star Kobe Bryant, reached a confidential settlement according to court records filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles federal court.
Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna Bryant were among nine people killed in January 2020 when their helicopter went down in a Calabasas, Calif., field.
Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit blamed the companies that owned and operated the helicopter and the estate of Ara Zoboyan, the late helicopter pilot. Three other families who lost loved ones in the crash joined in the suit.
The court document stated: “The material terms of the settlement and releases are known to the settling parties and include that the terms of the settlement are confidential.”
The lawsuit alleged that Zobayan “failed to abort the flight when he knew of cloudy conditions” and failed to “keep a safe distance between the helicopter and natural obstacles,” among other failures.
“As a direct and proximate result of the aforesaid negligence and carelessness on the part of defendant Zobayan, Kobe Bryant was killed,” the lawsuit states.
The National Transportation Safety Board concluded Zobayan’s poor decision-making was the likely cause.
Vanessa Bryant accused the helicopter owner, Island Express Holding Corp., of failing to equip its helicopter with a traffic avoidance and warning system, and that Island Express Helicopters, the helicopter’s operator, knew or should have known that they were prohibited from operating under instrument flight rules (used in the presence of foggy or cloudy conditions such as those on the morning of the crash).
A second, as yet unsettled, lawsuit filed by Vanessa Bryant maintains a County of Los Angeles public safety worker improperly shared photos of Kobe and Gianna from the crash site.