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Vanessa Bryant Files Wrongful Death Suit Against Helicopter Company After Kobe Bryant Tragedy

Vanessa Bryant is suing the company that owned the helicopter in which her husband, Kobe Bryant, and their 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, perished in JanuaryUs Weekly confirms.

Related: Kobe Bryant’s Life in Photos

The wrongful death suit filed against Island Express Helicopters in Los Angeles County Superior Court claims that pilot Ara Zobayan, who was also killed in the tragedy, was “negligent” and failed “to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft.”

The complaint states that Zobayan, 50, should have aborted the flight rather than flying in foggy and potentially blinding conditions. It also alleges that the helicopter was flying at 180 mph before it collided into a hillside in the Calabasas neighborhood of L.A. and took the lives of all nine people on board.

Vanessa, 37, is seeking general, economic and punitive damages in the suit. An amount is not listed.

Kobe Bryant, Vanessa Laine, Gianna Bryant, and Natalia Bryant files lawsuit
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and Natalia Bryant attend the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards in 2016. Brian To/Variety/Shutterstock

Related: Celebrity Deaths in 2020

The news of the former model’s court filing came shortly before the public memorial service for Kobe and Gianna began at Staples Center in L.A. Shaquille O’Neal, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez were among the celebrities in attendance.

Beyoncé kicked off the “Celebration of Life” event with a performance of her songs “XO” and “Halo.” A visibly emotional Jimmy Kimmel and Vanessa then took the stage to speak to the estimated 20,000 mourners inside the arena and the millions of viewers at home.

“The outpouring of love and support that my family has felt from the around world has been so uplifting,” Vanessa told the crowd.

Related: Kobe Bryant’s 10 Most Inspirational Quotes

The Lakers legend, 41, and Gianna passed away on January 26 alongside Zobayan and family friends John Altobelli, 55, Keri Altobelli, 46, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Sarah Chester, 45, Payton Chester, 13, and Christina Mauser, 38. The father-daughter duo were laid to rest during a private funeral on February 7.

Kobe and Vanessa, who married in 2001, were also the parents of daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, 8 months.

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