Vanessa Bryant argues against venue change for wrongful death lawsuit
Vanessa Bryant is suing the helicopter company and pilot’s estate over the deaths of her husband Kobe and daughter, Gianna, and the defendants want the case to be moved to a different county. Not surprisingly, Vanessa is arguing that having the proceedings in another court room will not have an impact on the outcome.
Island Express Helicopters and the estate for pilot Ara Zobayan have asked the court to move the case from L.A. to Orange County, as they believe they will not get a fair trial in the city where Kobe played for the Lakers and became an icon. According to new documents obtained by TMZ, Vanessa notes that the Bryants have lived in Orange County for 20 years and their “popularity there is just as strong as anywhere else.”
“Defendant fails to acknowledge the extent to which Kobe Bryant’s legacy penetrates American culture,” the attorney representing Vanessa said. “There is no county line at which Kobe Bryant’s celebrity suddenly evaporates. Public esteem for Kobe Bryant is a fact of American life.”
Vanessa’s attorneys say they lawfully chose to file the lawsuit in L.A. because that is where the Jan. 26 crash took place. A judge will now decide if the case should be moved or not.
The lawsuit filed by Vanessa is seeking multiple times of damages that cost the Bryant family hundreds of millions in future earnings. The suit accuses Zobayan of flying recklessly through poor weather conditions. The suit also accuses the company, Island Express Helicopters, of conduct with “malice, oppression, or fraud” for employing Zobayan despite violating “weather-related flight rules in 2015.”
The helicopter company has claimed that the Bryants knew the risks/dangers of flying and say they are not responsible for damages. Another suit has been filed by other victims of the crash. Vanessa has also filed a legal claim over photos taken of the helicopter crash site.