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

Bonfire

Ideal_Rock
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The lawyers usually cast a wide net. I don’t know what the liability of the pilot’s estate would be? And I assume there will be counter suits. Maybe someone familiar with aviation law will chime in.
 

Bonfire

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I do find it strange that she would include the dead pilot In the lawsuit. He lost his life too no matter what his responsibility for the events leading to the crash. Maybe her lawyers advised this as a preemptive strategy assuming his family would file suit against Kobe’s estate?
Seems like an inappropriate time to make the lawsuit announcement at the memorial service.

It’s all so terribly sad and I can’t pass judgment on her given what she’s going through. What ALL the families are going through. :blackeye:
 

arkieb1

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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.
I also question how much pressure was put on the helicopter pilot/company to fly, we both know yes it was up to the pilot and company to make the final decision but if you and your family work in aviation then we both know the reality is that sports and TV stars, politicians and other people who think they are important or are in a massive hurry, throw s#@* fits when they can't get to their destinations, that they blackmail, threaten and offer to bribe companies to fly in bad weather, etc.

It might not have been Kobe's fault it might have been the managers of the helicopter company that put pressure on the pilot to keep the customer happy.

The simple truth in this situation is they should not have gone out in those weather conditions, it will be up to the investigation to determine all the reasons why they did, and how and why an IFR rated pilot crashed, or clearly misjudged where he was in proximity to the ground.
 
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Bonfire

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why an IFR rated pilot crashed, or clearly misjudged where he was in proximity to the ground.
Just because he was IFR rated doesn’t mean he was proficient. Helicopters usually fly lower altitudes and VFR. The pilot flew this route many times with Kobe and probably pushed the envelope.
I agree, there can be even unspoken pressure coming from all directions. The investigation will look at everything and make their conclusions.
 

Karl_K

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I would be willing a bet it is because the way the company is structured that they had to sue both.
If he was an 1099 independent contractor that could be the case and it will get interesting.
If it was pilot error and that is the case, they could even sue his estate for the loss of the helicopter.
The first fight will be over the manditory arbitration clause in the contract. These days they all have them.
 
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arkieb1

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Just because he was IFR rated doesn’t mean he was proficient. Helicopters usually fly lower altitudes and VFR. The pilot flew this route many times with Kobe and probably pushed the envelope.
I agree, there can be even unspoken pressure coming from all directions. The investigation will look at everything and make their conclusions.
I thought I read in news reports he was IFR rated and probably proficient the company wasn't licensed/certified (is that how you do it in the US? .... that is how they do it here (in Australia) to fly in IFR conditions).


I'd guess there are 3 options;
Over confident pilot that took risk 100% his decision to fly and his fault
A company or managers that took risk and didn't want to pi** off a high profile client
There was pressure from Kobe or his staff to get them to the game....

It will be one or a combination of those factors... as is usually the case in these types of crashes.
 

lyra

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I haven't seen where she is suing the pilot's estate, just the company. There's nothing to be served by suing his estate. It certainly seems like pilot error. He could have turned back. No doubt he was pressured to make the flight, either by Bryant and/or the company. I suppose it is possible there was a mechanical, but thus far nothing points to that. It is the helicopter company that should be brought to account for this tragedy. Although of course some part also might fall to wanting the please the celebrity client. Or any client. You don't push the rules for anyone, but the pressure is there at some companies.
 

smitcompton

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Hi,

The pilot's estate is sued as a routine procedure. In a lawsuit one party usually tries to place blame on other parties. In this case the helicopter company will say it was the pilot to blame, and the pilot will try to place blame on the company. If you don't sue both your case may be dismissed just because they blame each other. So, you begin by covering your bases and sue both or others as investigation may show. Perhaps both may be to blame.

Annette
 
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