Relatives of four people who died in the helicopter crash that also killed Kobe Bryant recently filed lawsuits against Island Express Helicopter, Inc. The suits allege Island Express didn’t properly access weather safety conditions before allowing their helicopter to leave John Wayne Airport on January 26, 2020.
John and Alexis Altobelli—who lost their father, mother, and sister in the helicopter crash—filed the first of these suits. The late coach Christina Mauser’s husband and three children presented the second lawsuit. These two suits were filed in April on LA County Superior Court’s online portal.
Both of these lawsuits suggest Island Express authorities could have prevented the tragic January crash that claimed nine lives. Allegedly, Island Express Helicopter, Inc., and its parent company Island Express Holding Corp. knowingly put these passengers at risk considering the day’s foggy weather.
These are not the first two lawsuits that have been filed against Island Express Holding Corp. Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa Bryant also sued the company for similar reasons back in February.
Vanessa Bryant also filed a suit against the pilot who died in the crash. According to Vanessa, pilot Ara Zobayan acted negligently and should have canceled the flight after learning about the foggy weather conditions.
Members of the National Transportation Safety Board say the engine in this helicopter was working fine at the time of the crash. For this reason, some people believe the poor visibility caused by dense fog was the primary reason pilot Zobayan crashed in the hilly Calabasas region.