AceShowbiz - A representative for pilot Ara George Zobayan has turned a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Kobe Bryant's widow on its head by insisting plaintiff negligence is to blame for the crash that cost the basketball superstar his life.
Zobayan, who also perished in the crash, was flying the aircraft through fog when it went down in Calabasas, California, in January, killing everyone on board.
Kobe's widow Vanessa Bryant has filed a lawsuit against the pilot and his helicopter company, Island Express, insisting they were responsible for the deaths of her husband and daughter, Gianna.
But now a rep for Zobayan is firing back, telling TMZ, "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, and that this negligence was a substantial factor in causing their purported damages, for which this answering defendant bears no responsibility."
Vanessa Bryant previously claimed pilots and law enforcement had been grounded on the day of the crash due to the weather conditions, but the pilot requested - and received - permission to fly.
According to papers filed by Vanessa last week (ends May 08), Island Express' Federal Aviation Administration operating certificate did not allow pilots to fly during conditions like those on the day of the crash. The pilot had already allegedly been cited by the FAA for violating this rule in the past.