Berge Zobayan, a representative for and family member of the pilot flying the helicopter that crashed and claimed his life, as well as that of Kobe and Gianna Bryant and six other passengers, has filed an answer with the Superior Court blaming no one but the NBA legend and the passengers on that January flight for the accident.
In response to Vanessa Bryant’s wrongful death lawsuit against the helicopter company, Berge said, according to documents obtained by People and filed in Los Angeles on 8 May: “Any injuries or damages to plaintiffs and/or their decedent were directly caused in full or in part by the negligence or fault of plaintiffs and/or their decedent, including their knowing and voluntary encounter with the risks involved, and that this negligence was a substantial factor in causing their purported damages, for which this answering defendant bears no responsibility.”
According to E! News, Berge’s response is one of 13 defences. Others include comparative fault of third parties and superseding cause.
The lawsuit, which was filed in February, stated that the helicopter company and its employees, including pilot, Ara George Zobayan, had the “duty to use that degree of care that an ordinarily careful and prudent pilot would use under the same or similar circumstances”.
“Defendant Island Express Helicopters authorised, directed and/or permitted a flight with full knowledge that the subject helicopter was flying into unsafe weather conditions,” the lawsuit read.