Family members of some of the passengers killed alongside NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna earlier this year have joined a lawsuit against the company that owned and operated the aircraft.
Island Express Helicopters Inc. operated the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, which crashed in Calabasas, California on 26 January 2020.
On 24 February 2020, Bryant’s widow Vanessa filed a suit against the company. Also named as defendants were holding company Island Express Holding Corp., and the estate of deceased pilot Ara Zobayan.
However, the two separate suits submitted electronically on Sunday to Los Angeles Superior Court do not seek to pursue Zobayan’s estate.
The actions come from the widower of victim Christina Masuer, as well as joint plaintiffs John and Alexis Altobelli, who lost parents and their sister in the crash.
The flight was en-route to Bryant’s Mamba Sports Center when the aircraft encountered inclement weather conditions.
The Los Angeles Times reported at the time that local police had chosen to ground their fleet on the morning of 26 January due to poor visibility.
Global News also reported at the time that a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) spokesman reported that the company was not licensed to fly under instrument flight rules (IFR).
After conducting an initial review of the wreckage, a preliminary NTSB report said that there were no signs of engine failure. The agency stated at the time that a full investigation may take at least a year to conclude.