Widow Of Kobe Bryant Agrees To Settle In Wrongful Death Suit Against Pilot, Helicopter Company

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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The widow of NBA legend Kobe Bryant agreed to settle a lawsuit against the pilot and the helicopter owners Tuesday over a year after her husband and daughter’s deaths, The Associated Press (AP) reported Wednesday.

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and six fellow passengers died in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020, while traveling to a youth basketball tournament in Ventura County, California. Bryant’s widow Vanessa, along with the passengers’ relatives, filed a settlement agreement notice Tuesday with a federal judge requesting to end a negligence and wrongful death suit against the pilot, Ara Zobayan, and the owner of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter, The AP reported.

Vanessa had filed a suit against the helicopter company, Island Express Helicopters Inc., and Zobayan’s estate for flying in unsafe conditions at around 180 miles per hour, in February 2020.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 27: Gianna Bryant and her father, former NBA player Kobe Bryant, attend the WNBA All-Star Game 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant with his daughter, Gianna (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The National Transportation Safety Board additionally blamed Island Express and its owner, Island Express Holding Corps., for failing to properly train Zobayan to fly in risky weather conditions and for not reviewing proper safety measures beforehand, according to The AP. (RELATED: Kobe Bryant’s Wife Vanessa Files Lawsuit Against Helicopter Company Involved In His Death)

However, the helicopter company denied fault, arguing that the accident was an “act of God” and later blamed and countersued two Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers for the crash, The AP reported.

The settlement agreement filed by Vanessa awaits a federal judge’s approval, according to the outlet.