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Kobe Bryant helicopter crash: Pilot’s brother claims passengers were negligent

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WATCH: Leaked photos of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others have been deleted and the deputies who shared them are facing administrative action, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva – Mar 3, 2020

The brother of the pilot involved in the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and six other passengers claimed on Friday that the pilot shouldn’t be held responsible.

Attorneys for Berge Zobayan, brother of the late pilot Ara Zobayan, allege “any injuries or damages to plaintiffs and/or their decedent was directly caused in full or in part by the negligence or fault of plaintiffs and/or their decedent,” a seven-page court document reads, per CNN.

“This negligence was a substantial factor in causing their purported damages,” the documents read.

READ MORE: Vanessa Bryant sues helicopter operator for deaths of Kobe, Gianna

Zobayan’s attorneys are asking for judgment in his favour and for a lawsuit filed against his brother to be dropped, among other requests, CNN says.

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The claim was made in response to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by widow Vanessa Bryant in February accusing Zobayan and his employer, Island Express Helicopters, of flying when it was unsafe.

According to CNN, Island Express has refused to comment further on the ongoing lawsuit.

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Moving moments at Kobe and Gianna Bryant memorial – Feb 25, 2020

Vanessa Bryant alleges Zobayan didn’t evaluate weather data before taking off and didn’t ground the helicopter when conditions were too foggy.

The 27-count complaint accuses the pilot of negligence, alleging that he failed “to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit accuses Zobayan of eight different counts of negligence, including failing to properly assess the weather, flying into conditions he wasn’t cleared for and failing to control the helicopter.

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READ MORE: Vanessa Bryant ‘devastated’ by reported sharing of graphic Kobe Bryant helicopter crash photos

The late January crash killed all nine people on board, including Zobayan, Kobe and Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli, Payton Chester, parents Keri and John Altobelli and Sarah Chester and Christina Mauser.

The Altobelli and Mauser families also sued last month but only named the helicopter company and its owner as defendants, NBC News says.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

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