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Vanessa Bryant settles wrongful death suit with helicopter company

Vanessa Bryant has reached an undisclosed settlement with a helicopter company she sued following the death of her husband, Kobe Bryant, their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven others when the helicopter they were aboard crashed in January of 2020. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Vanessa Bryant has reached an undisclosed settlement with a helicopter company she sued following the death of her husband, Kobe Bryant, their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, and seven others when the helicopter they were aboard crashed in January of 2020. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

June 23 (UPI) -- Vanessa Bryant and others has settled a wrongful death suit they filed against the company that owned the helicopter that crashed early last year, killing all nine people on board, including NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others.

The court document filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division, states the two sides "have agreed to settle their claims," though the terms of the settlement were not released and are confidential.

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"The settling parties are currently finalizing settlement documents," the document said.

The filing settles a lawsuit filed by Vanessa Bryant and other family members of the deceased in February 2020 against Island Express Holding Corp. and Island Express Helicopters, accusing them of allowing the helicopter into the air despite unsafe flying conditions.

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The 41-year-old Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and seven others died Jan. 26 when the helicopter they were aboard crashed in Calabasas, Calif.

The suit also accused pilot Ara Zobayan, who also died in the crash, of flying the aircraft at 180 mph in dense fog.

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Months after the crash, the National Transpiration Safety Board released documents indicating that Zobayan, 50, had dismissed concerns about fog over the weekend of the flight.

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In February, NTBS officials also concluded that Zobayan most likely suffered from spatial disorientation while flying through the clouds and fog, causing the crash.

The other victims of the crash were John Altobelli, 56; Keri Altobelli, 46; Sarah Chester, 45; Christina Mauser, 38; Alyssa Altobelli, 14; and Payton Chester, 13.

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