Tennessee fans of basketball player Kobe Bryant may be aware that his wife, Vanessa Bryant, filed a lawsuit against the owners of the helicopter that Bryant was traveling in when it crashed, causing his death and the death of eight other people. The Bryants’ 13-year-old daughter also died in the crash. The family members of four other passengers are filing lawsuits as well.
Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit against the owners also names the pilot, who died in the crash, as a defendant. The other family members who have filed lawsuits do not name the pilot although they have filed a suit against the operators along with the owners. One suit was filed by two children of a couple killed in the crash along with their 13-year-old daughter. Another was filed by the children and spouse of a basketball coach who died.
The National Transportation Safety Board conducted an investigation into the crash and announced in February that engine failure was not a factor. According to media reports, the company was not certified for flying in the kind of foggy weather that occurred on the day of the accident. Bryant’s lawsuit says the pilot acted carelessly in flying into the fog and that he should not have completed the flight. The lawsuits all say the company was negligent.
Family members who have lost a loved one in an accident may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties responsible. A person’s eligibility to file depends on their relationship to the deceased person. Responsible parties could include individuals who were involved in the accident and companies that owned, operated or manufactured equipment involved in the accident. It would be necessary to establish that negligence on the part of the responsible parties caused the accident. The case might be settled in or out of court.