The families of four victims who were killed in the Jan. 26 helicopter crash that also led to the deaths of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter have filed lawsuits against the California company that owned and operated the aircraft.
In two complaints filed to Los Angeles County Court on April 17 and obtained by PEOPLE, the families of victims John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli, and Christina Mauser filed wrongful death lawsuits against Island Express Helicopters, which owned the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter flown by pilot Ara Zobayan on the morning of the accident in Calabasas, California.
In their suit, plaintiffs Alexis Altobelli — John and Keri’s surviving daughter — and John James Altobelli — John’s son and Keri’s stepson — claim that Island Express is responsible in “negligence or in some other actionable manner” for the crash, and therefore “legally and approximately caused the deaths” of their parents and sister.
The Mauser family’s suit — which lists Christina Mauser’s husband and their three children as plaintiffs — similarly claims Island Express was negligent leading up to the morning of the crash, which also killed Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton Chester.
TMZ was the first the report the news.
Island Express did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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The complaints allege that Island Express “carelessly breached their own duty to own, lease, manage, maintain, control, entrust, charter and operate” the helicopter involved in the crash in a “reasonable manner.”
Because of the company’s “careless, negligent, and unlawful conduct,” the family’s surviving members have suffered a loss of financial support and other non-monetary damages, including a “loss of love, affection … companionship, solace and mental support.”
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The complaints come nearly two months after Vanessa Bryant filed a separate wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express. In the suit, Bryant alleged that Zobayan — who was also killed in the crash — “failed to properly monitor and assess the weather prior to takeoff.”
It also alleges the pilot “failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy conditions” and “failed to properly and safely operate the helicopter resulting in a crash.”
Alleging that Island Express “knew or should have known” that they were prohibited from operating the helicopter under Instrument Flight Rules, the complaint also claims that the company “failed to have in place an adequate safety policy for cancellation of flights into unsafe weather conditions.”
Zobayan was previously disciplined in 2015 for violating the visual flight rule minimums, the lawsuit stated.
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In a previous update from the National Transportation Safety Board, investigators found no evidence that Zobayan’s helicopter experienced engine failure before it crashed.
Island Express Helicopters, the company that owned the helicopter, temporarily suspended its operations in the wake of the tragic incident. Zobayan had worked for the company for 10 years, the update stated.
The NTSB said Zobayan had 8,200 hours of flight experience and logged about 1,250 hours in the S76 helicopter.
If you would like to help the families of the victims of the crash, consider donating to the Mamba on Three Fund. Contributions to the Mamba Sports Foundation will help support youth sports.