Two days after the helicopter-crash death of Kobe Bryant and eight other victims, Forbes.com estimated that Bryant’s estate was worth in the vicinity of $600 million.
Since then evidence has overwhelmingly indicated that the victims of that 1.26 chopper crash died because pilot Ara George Zobayan fucked up.
Bryant’s grieving widow Vanessa is obviously justified in filing a lawsuit against Express Helicopters. I also understand her emotional motives in deciding to also sue Zobayan’s family. But think about the latter situation.
Yes, an apparent miscalculation by Zobayan killed her husband and her 13 year-old daughter, Gianna. I would be livid if I’d suffered through a similar tragedy. But there’s something wrong with the idea of a woman who’s apparently worth $600M (and with an obvious potential to earn tens of millions more) looking to siphon funds from people whose holdings are probably in the lower six-figure range, if that. For the crime of being related to Zobayan.
Bryant’s suit reportedly claims that “heavy fog and low clouds prompted law enforcement agencies and tour companies to ground their helicopters, but [Zobayan] requested special clearance from air traffic control to keep flying.” The lawsuit points out that “Island Express’ FAA operating certificate barred pilots from flying under such conditions and that Zobayan had previously been cited by the FAA for violating the rules.”
The underlying factors, of course, are that (a) Bryant, like most super-wealthy, highly accomplished go-getters, was an exacting, most likely demanding Type-A personality, and (b) Zobayan, not wanting to exhibit hesitancy or indecision while serving such a wealthy client, probably adopted a somewhat reckless get-it-done attitude when Bryant said he wanted this or that.