Nearly four months after the tragic death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi and seven others, the pilot’s relative is pushing back, saying he’s not to blame for the fatal helicopter crash.

Berge Zobayan, the brother of the pilot, Ara George Zobayan, who crashed a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant and eight others on January 26 in Calabasas, California said in legal documents obtained by People magazine that the passengers knew the risks of flying so his sibling shouldn’t be held accountable.

“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,” the new paperwork filed last Friday stated.

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Zobayan’s response comes after Vanessa’s lawsuit, which claimed the 50-year-old pilot made a series of errors, including failing to properly assess the weather and abort the flight due to foggy conditions. The suit also alleged that he failed to maintain control of the helicopter and to avoid “natural obstacles.”

Passengers in the fatal helicopter crash included Kobe, 41, and Gianna, 13, as well as John Altobelli, 56, Keri Altobelli, 46, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Sarah Chester, 45, Payton Chester, 13, and Christina Mauser, 38.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 24: A spray painted message reads ‘RIP Kobe’ outside the ‘Celebration of Life for Kobe and Gianna Bryant’ memorial service at Staples Center on February 24, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles Lakers NBA star Kobe Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were killed along with seven others in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on January 26. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

“This negligence was a substantial factor in causing their purported damages, for which this answering defendant bears no responsibility,” the filing argued.

Vanessa, w filed her wrongful death claim in February, naming Zobayan and the helicopter company who owned the chopper, Island Express, as defendants.


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