A wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Vanessa Bryant was filed in Los Angeles against Island Express Helicopters, the operators of the crashed helicopter which killed her late husband, Kobe Bryant, and her 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant.
The lawsuit alleges that on the morning of January 26, 2020, Island Express Helicopters negligently permitted the doomed passenger helicopter flight even though the weather conditions were not conducive for a safe flight. The dense, blinding fog which grounded Los Angeles police helicopters, was reported on the morning of the crash.
The lawsuit also alleges that the Island Express helicopter pilot, who also perished in the crash, had failed to abort the flight when he knew the conditions were unsafe and failed to avoid natural obstacles in the flight path as he sharply descended through the fog at 180 MPH just before the helicopter crashed on a hillside. The lawsuit also states that the pilot was previously disciplined for similar circumstances in 2015 for violating visual flight rules and flying into dangerous airspace.
Bryant and her legal team are seeking punitive (punishment) damages as well as compensatory damages for the loss of her late husband and daughter. Although the lawsuit does not specifically state how much Bryant is demanding, it is likely that if she is awarded compensation, the amount could potentially be tens to hundreds of millions of dollars.
What Is A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Texas, similar to other civil cases such as car accidents or personal injury lawsuits, a wrongful death lawsuit is a type of claim to compensation for the death of an immediate family member due to the negligence of a third party.
The Wrongful Death Statute, which is found in the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, states the following:
Sec. 71.002. CAUSE OF ACTION. (a) An action for actual damages arising from an injury that causes an individual’s death may be brought if liability exists under this section.
(b) A person is liable for damages arising from an injury that causes an individual’s death if the injury was caused by the person’s or his agent’s or servant’s wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.
The two main types of damages (reasons for compensation) that someone can claim are punitive damages and compensatory damages. Punitive damages are awarded to the plaintiff as a punishment for the negligent act while compensatory damages are awarded to compensate the plaintiff for their loss.
Compensatory damages are further broken down into economic damages, such as loss of wages, and non-economic damages, such as mental anguish and pain and suffering among others.
Why Are People Always Criticized For Filing Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
Unfortunately, having represented many wrongful death victims and their families for over 29 years, we understand the stigma that is unfortunately attached to these types of claims. These families that have suffered a terrible loss are in a tremendously difficult position and are too often the ire of people who simply do not understand what they are going through. Texas law allows grieving families to be compensated for that loss and no one should ever be shamed for exercising their right to use our courts for these claims.
Imagine a father that is the main breadwinner for his family and financially supports his wife and children. At night, he helps his son and daughter with their homework, helping them in school so that one day they can go off to college; he discusses with his wife his future plans to build a new home for their family and someday retire together. Now, imagine that the father is tragically killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. The wife, who did not earn as much as her husband, is now not only painfully widowed and robbed of her companionship, she is suddenly saddled with the emergency room bill, the funeral expenses, and all other debts to her husband’s name. The children who depended on their father from emotional support to current and future financial support are left without a parent.
Although no amount of compensation may ever be enough to wholly compensate for losing an immediate family member, Texas law allows these families the avenues to be compensated for their loss.
Contact The McAllen Wrongful Death Lawyers At Moore Law Firm Today
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, you and your family may be entitled to compensation. If you need a lawyer for a death in your family, call the McAllen wrongful death lawyers at Moore Law Firm today for free, private consultation today at 1-888-444-2780.