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Families of Kobe Bryant, helicopter crash victims reach settlement in suit

Published: Updated:

The families of Kobe Bryant and others who died in a 2020 helicopter crash reached a settlement Tuesday in a lawsuit targeting the late pilot’s estate and the company that owned and operated the helicopter.

Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, was among those suing the estate of pilot Ara Zobayan as well as Island Express Helicopters filed a notice in court that read, “Plaintiffs and Defendants jointly report that they have agreed to settle their claims in the above-entitled action,” multiple media outlets reported.

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No details of the settlement were revealed. The court still must approve the proposed agreement.

Nine people died in the crash near Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26, 2020: Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and Zobayan. All were headed to a youth basketball tournament in Ventura County, Calif.

Earlier this year, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a report that blamed the crash on pilot error while also criticizing Island Express Helicopters for safety failures. Island Express Helicopters disputed the decision, terming the crash “an act of God.”

The company has also filed a countersuit against two air traffic controllers.

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