Kobe Bryant’s wrongful death trial shouldn’t be held in LA: pilot’s lawyer
The family of the pilot who flew the helicopter that crashed, killing Kobe Bryant and his daughter in January says the NBA star’s wrongful death trial can’t be held in Los Angeles because jurors there can’t be impartial, according to a report.
Widow Vanessa Bryant, who also lost her and Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna in the crash, sued both the helicopter company and pilot Ara Zobayan’s estate in February, claiming that Zobayan failed to obtain weather data and didn’t cancel the flight despite poor weather conditions before taking off on Jan. 26.
Zobayan also perished in the accident in Calabasas, Calif.
But while Vanessa — who is seeking hundreds of millions in damages — has demanded a jury trial, lawyers for Zobayan’s estate say they intend to ask for the trial be moved outside of LA since locals couldn’t be fair jurors given Kobe’s status as a five-time championship winner for the Lakers, The US Sun reported.
“Defendant Zobayan intends to file a motion to transfer venue to a county outside Los Angeles county on the grounds that an impartial jury cannot be empaneled in Los Angeles Superior Court in this matter,” the court documents say, according to the outlet.
A trial date has not yet been set.
Vanessa’s lawsuit alleged at the time that company Island Express Helicopters was negligent and that Zobayan did not use “ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft” — which was flying at 180 miles per hour and navigating through fog in the moments before the crash.
The families of four other victims who perished in the crash have also filed wrongful death suits against the helicopter company Island Express Helicopters.
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