More lawsuits filed in connection with chopper crash that killed Kobe Bryant
LOS ANGELES - Two more families with relatives who died in the Jan. 26 helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others filed wrongful death/negligence lawsuits against the owners of the chopper, court papers obtained Monday show.
The lawsuits were filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court by the families of John Altobelli and Christina Mauser against Long Beach-based Island Express Helicopters Inc. and Island Express Holding Corp., located in Fillmore.
The suits seeks unspecified damages.
Altobelli died along with his wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa. The plaintiffs in the Altobelli suit are Altobelli's son, John James Altobelli, who was the stepson of Keri Altobelli. The second plaintiff is a minor who was the daughter of both Altobellis and the sister of Alyssa.
The plaintiffs in the Mauser suit are her husband, Matthew Mauser, and her three minor children.
The suits alleged the helicopter companies "negligently and carelessly breached their duty to own, lease, manage, maintain, control, entrust, charter and operate" the helicopter "in a reasonable manner."
The plaintiffs have suffered damages "from the deprivation of financial support and assistance, loss of gifts, loss of future contributions and pecuniary benefits, loss of inheritance of prospective accumulations...," the suits state.
Investigators work at the scene of a helicopter crash that killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant on January 26, 2020 in Calabasas, California. (David McNew/Getty Images)
The lawsuits do not name Bryant's estate as a defendant. The former NBA star's wife, Vanessa, filed a similar suit on Feb. 24 and then an amended complaint on Wednesday. In addition to the helicopter companies, her suit also names as defendants Berge Zobayan, the personal representative of the estate of the helicopter's pilot, Ara George Zobayan.
The Sikorsky S-76B crashed in foggy weather in Calabasas while transporting nine passengers to a youth basketball game at Bryant's Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks. No one survived.
Also killed were Payton Chester, who like Alyssa was a teammate of Gianna; her mother, Sarah Chester, and Zobayan.