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Kobe’s wife sues helicopter company and pilot’s estate....

jaysonsmom

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2004
Messages
3,080
Kobe’s wife sues

I can’t believe Kobe’s wife Vanessa is going after the helicopter company and the pilot for the wrongful deaths of her husband and daughter. She is already rich beyond belief, and suing would not bring her loved ones back. She would only be ruining the lives of those employed by the helicopter company and the pilot’s family who played no part in the accident who also cost them the life of their loved one. Thoughts?
 

Jimmianne

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 9, 2013
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5,918
I agree with you. Grief makes people irrational, and I’m sure she is very angry.
Hopefully she will have a change of heart before she destroys another grieving widow and family.
 

missy

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31,647
I don't think she is doing it for the money. She is angry her husband and daughter are dead and in her mind it is the fault of the helicopter company and pilot. Whether that is true or not I do not know. But I know when we lose someone dear to us anger is one of the first emotions and looking to assign blame is one of the ways we deal with that anger. And perhaps in her mind she is trying to prevent this tragedy from happening to anyone else by going after who she feels is to blame. It's a tragedy beyond tragedies losing one's husband and daughter and I cannot even imagine how she is feeling. :(
 

lyra

Ideal_Rock
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4,810
I agree with her decision. It's not about the money. Also, 9 people died, not just 2. There should be some accountability. If this company is pressuring pilots to fly in questionable circumstances, as is often the case, they need to be brought down. JMO.
 

Tekate

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6,407
I think it's vindictive, as you say, she's very rich. But maybe she thinks she is sending a message to others that don't do risky maneuvers? Nothing brings back your loved ones and we don't know what was said in the helicopter. Kobe was not a saint, he seemed a great guy, a good dad, so I think Ms Bryant is bereft.
 

bludiva

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maybe more will come out re: the motivation later, for example maybe the suit is to bring claims on behalf of the other families who don't have the legal resources to do so or to get the company to change certain safety policies.

i remember reading once about a family member who had to sue another to get money for medical care after some kind of accident, everyone in the family was ok with it, it was they only way they could get the insurance company to pay out what they should have.
 

mrs-b

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6,631
It's one thing to sue the company - fair enough, tho I do think it's pretty fast to go from that level of grief to filing law suits. But to go after the estate is petty. That *only* affects the family, who had nothing to do with the crash and who understand exactly how she feels - having lost their own husband / father.

And why should the company not sue Kobe's estate - or the estate of any of the passengers - on the basis that, had the pilot not had to fly them wherever I'm sure they were keen to go, he would still be alive also? He may have felt pressured to respond their request; who knows? Money and fame can persuade/push people to act against their better judgment.

I don't know - just seems cruel to me. Even in grief, we're still who we are, and we handle it according to the natures and characters fundamental to our make-up.
 

telephone89

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3,667
I also don't think it's about the money. Things are coming to light that the pilot had been disciplined previously for flying in bad weather, the company isn't even licensed to fly in bad weather. Since the weather was so bad, he shouldn't have been flying in the first place. Not sure if its the pilot at fault or the company, and TBH I'm sure it's hard to resist pressure by such a superstar (for either directly on the pilot or the company and them on the pilot). It honestly seems very preventable had they followed their own rules.
 

LisaRN

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3,193
I can only imagine how the pilot's family must feel. Not only are they grieving, but they now have the added stress of this lawsuit. It will most likely compound the physical and mental anguish they are going through right now. I can understand suing the company, but the estate of the pilot seems very cruel and presents real life consequences for the family.
 

Bonfire

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i agree with her decision. This isn’t about money, it’s punitive to deter unsafe practices. Island Express has had 3 previous crashes since 1985, 2 of them fatal. The pilot had busted minimums previously and should have had re-current training, fined, etc. He was flying in conditions he shouldn’t have and suffered Spatial Disorientation. (Same thing happened to John Kennedy Jr.)
Her suit also mentions the importance of these types of charter helicopters be equipped with TAWS - Terrain Avoidance and Warning System. Only air ambulance copters are required to have them. Nine people lost their lives needlessly and carelessly. These companies need to be help accountable.
 

Queenie60

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Sep 15, 2014
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3,984
I support her decision, it's not about the money - this is about holding the company accountable as the aircraft should not have taken off on a very foggy day. I hope the families of the other passengers can find peace. As for the pilot, he made a bad decision and I am sure that he had Pilot insurance to cover this type of tragedy. Money will not bring back any of the passengers, it's more about holding the pilot and the company responsible.
 

marymm

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Yeah, I wonder if it is a strategic decision, to have her file the wrongful death complaint now, because even if she/Kobe's estate does not need money from such a suit, more likely than not the families of the other passengers who died in the helicopter do need the money. She is in the best position to file the suit and the families of the other passengers will be joining as co-plaintiffs. It may be the other families are in financial straits, and waiting to file would be to their further detriment.

Similarly, suing the estate of the pilot is probably a pro forma thing to do in this type of wrongful death action; the pilot's estate potentially could be dismissed as a defendant by the court if it is shown the pilot's actions were taken according to company policy/guidelines.

If Vanessa/Kobe's estate were to win a wrongful death award, I am thinking she'd probably donate it to the Mamba Foundation ...
 

Bonfire

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The lawsuits are just beginning and Kobe’s estate will be targeted. It was smart on her part to file the first suit. I also read the money will go to the Mamba Foundation.
 

joelly

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Apr 21, 2009
Messages
1,662
She should sue them. 9 people are dead. On that day, most helicopters were grounded. Why is the pilot make the decision to fly? Someone made a judgment call which killed 9 lives.
 

whitewave

Ideal_Rock
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9,375
I looked at it this way:

The other people’s families are going to sue Kobe’s estate. I’ll be super surprised if they don’t.

She may have been advised to sue to cover herself for when the other lawsuits come down on her.
 

whitewave

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maybe more will come out re: the motivation later, for example maybe the suit is to bring claims on behalf of the other families who don't have the legal resources to do so or to get the company to change certain safety policies.

i remember reading once about a family member who had to sue another to get money for medical care after some kind of accident, everyone in the family was ok with it, it was they only way they could get the insurance company to pay out what they should have.
Yes, what that the aunt who had to sue her young (like 8 years old) nephew?
 

whitewave

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I can only imagine how the pilot's family must feel. Not only are they grieving, but they now have the added stress of this lawsuit. It will most likely compound the physical and mental anguish they are going through right now. I can understand suing the company, but the estate of the pilot seems very cruel and presents real life consequences for the family.
In all likelihood, this is going to be pilot error, so unfortunately it’s going to be his fault. (Spatial disorientation)

My daughter’s roommate for next year has a deceased uncle who was the pilot in a fatal air crash recently and was high profile. Her mother, his sister, told me they are waiting for the NTSB report and that will take a year to 18 months, so in their case they do not know if it will be “his fault” yet. They are anxiously waiting to see.
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
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6,638
Here's a link to the audio between controller and pilot. For those of you interested, there is a detailed post in the comments below the video from drfaustus72 that you might find informative.


I find the blame game in these situations to be brutish even if necessary.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 17, 2008
Messages
6,827
I don't disagree. You guys forget that its the pilots decision to fly or not. He can at his discretion, decide to fly the plane/helicopter, whatever, and IMO he used very poor judgement in doing so.

Do not forget the words Pre-Impact Terror. I can't imagine what those people on board that flight had to suffer through, knowing they would die as that helicopter fell.

Yes she's got money but my feeling is this is not about money. You all forget she not only lost a husband but also a daughter, her own child. The pain she goes through on the daily is probably immeasurable.
 

Bonfire

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He wasn’t even reading his altimeter! When vectored from VNY to Socal he was at 1400’ cleared to climb to 1500‘ but he got disoriented which can happen in clouds/fog when you don’t read your instruments. Your body/inner ear is at odds with what your instruments read. He was so close to breaking out of the fog layer but he lost it. So sad!
ETA : Brutish or not, the NTSB has to conclude cause of any accident, and pilot error is a cause.
 
Last edited:

Polabowla

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
267
Why would ppl sue Kobe's estate?

Idk I find the incessant focusing only on Kobe to be a bit distasteful, he isn't the only victim of the crash, nor was he a faultless person.
I would like to see more about the other ppl who passed away, what their lives were like, what's being done to memorialize them.
 

Calliecake

Ideal_Rock
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I think it’s wrong. Nothing will bring back the people lost in the accident. It was a tragic accident. Blaming and suing everyone associated with the crash will not end the families left behind pain.

No one got into the helicopter that morning will the intent to harm others. Terrible things happen in life.
 

Polabowla

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
267
@Calliecake I understand your comment. No sane pilot wakes up in the morning and says “I want to crash and kill people today”. A HUGE Part of pilot training is SAFETY and good judgement . Sadly that was not shown in this case. Unfortunately there is plenty of hubris in the aviation industry. It is tragic beyond measure.
But we don't know how much pressure was put on him to fly
 

Bonfire

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 22, 2014
Messages
3,084
But we don't know how much pressure was put on him to fly
That is true. It’s called “get there-itis”. However, experienced pilots don’t fly in unsafe conditions, period. IF Kobe was exerting pressure and the pilot explained why it would be unsafe to go, do you think Kobe would endanger his daughter and the others? I don’t think so. The ultimate decision lies with the pilot always.
 

Calliecake

Ideal_Rock
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@Bonfire, Before I met my husband, I was in a serious relationship with a pilot for a major airline for a few years. Many of our friends were also pilots. They all took their job and safety extremely serious. That is a small part of the reason I made the comment I did.

At the end of the day, I see this as a tragic accident. Suing people isn’t going to change the outcome. I can’t imagine what the families and everyone associated with this crash are going thru.
 

Bonfire

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 22, 2014
Messages
3,084
I agree @Calliecake. This was Kobe Bryant. The sharks will circle. I understand this industry very well. My DH is a Captain at a major airline. 40 years there. He also flew charter in college. Our son had his private pilot’s license before his driver’s license and also is at a major airline. I worked for a charter airline for 11 years. We live in a world of litigation and sometimes safety measures are improved or implemented because of it.
 

jaysonsmom

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2004
Messages
3,080

i agree with her decision. This isn’t about money, it’s punitive to deter unsafe practices. Island Express has had 3 previous crashes since 1985, 2 of them fatal. The pilot had busted minimums previously and should have had re-current training, fined, etc. He was flying in conditions he shouldn’t have and suffered Spatial Disorientation. (Same thing happened to John Kennedy Jr.)
Her suit also mentions the importance of these types of charter helicopters be equipped with TAWS - Terrain Avoidance and Warning System. Only air ambulance copters are required to have them. Nine people lost their lives needlessly and carelessly. These companies need to be help accountable.
Agreed, the helicoptor company needs to be held accountable, but why does the pilot's widow and children have to be sued? Aren't they punished enough? They lost their dad, husband etc. Suing them and rendering them destitute is pure evil.
 
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