Mendoza: Kobe crash lawsuit

All Write

IN AN AP (Associated Press) report just days ago, it bared the recent goings-on regarding the suit filed by the widow of basketball legend Kobe Bryant against the helicopter pilot and the company that owned the chopper.

The AP said it was in February when Vanessa Bryant sued the estate of pilot Ara Zobayan and the charter company that owned the helicopter, Island Express.

Kobe, who keyed the five NBA titles won by Los Angeles in his 20-year stint with the Lakers, died in that chopper crash on January 26 this year together with his daughter Gianna, 13, and seven others.

They were on their way to a basketball tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy in Calabasas, California, when the chopper slammed a mountainside and exploded into a ball of fire, killing all nine passengers aboard.

The AP said: “Games were being played at the academy when the news broke of Bryant’s death. Players immediately stopped and many people in the gym burst into tears when told that Bryant was aboard the helicopter that crashed.”

Last month, Bryant, the only NBA player to have his team retire two numbers in his honor, was inducted posthumously into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

In her lawsuit, Vanessa said Zobayan failed “to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft” and alleged negligence. Survivors of all the crash victims have also filed similar lawsuits, including Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton.

But in a court filing, Zobayan’s brother, Berge Zobayan, said Kobe Bryant knew the risks of helicopter flying and his survivors aren’t entitled to damages from the pilot’s estate, the AP said citing a Los Angeles Times report.

Island Express also told the court that the accident was “an act of God” and “an unavoidable accident” that was beyond their control and, thus, “we are not responsible for damages.”

Poor God. Every time an accident happens, the accused, almost by reflex, points to God as the culprit. Most insurance companies do that and, funny if not crazy, they escape unscathed—mostly, that is.

Will the Kobe case be different?


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