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Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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Kobe-Bryant-Wrongful-Death-LawsuitThe deaths of Kobe and Gianna Bryant along with the other people who were on the helicopter with them shocked the world. As thousands of mourners went to the Staples Center in Los Angeles for a memorial service to remember the victims, Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the pilot’s estate and the helicopter company on several grounds. The civil complaint was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court. While Kobe Bryant’s estate is estimated at $600 million, there are several reasons why Vanessa Bryant may have filed a lawsuit other than to add to her family’s vast wealth.

Key legal issues in the wrongful death lawsuit

Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit names the estate of Ara Zobayan, who was the pilot who also died in the crash, Island Express Helicopters, and Island Express Holdings as defendants. Her claims against the estate are based on negligence, and the claims against Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holdings are based on principles of vicarious liability.  Note: For a full copy of the actual lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court click here:  1784052393(1-72)

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California-Wrongful-Death-AttorneyWhen people participate in sports and are injured, they may have legal rights to sue in some cases even if they signed waivers of liability. In Hass v. RhodyCo Productions, Cal. Ct. App., Case No. A142418, a wrongful death lawsuit, the court found that an express waiver of liability and the primary assumption of the risk doctrine do not bar lawsuits when the conduct amounts to gross negligence.

Factual background

Peter Hass was a man who participated in the 2011 Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon. After he crossed the finish line, Hass suffered a heart attack and subsequently died. The organizer of the event, RhodyCo Productions, provided production services and event management for the half-marathon from 2006 to 2011. RhodyCo Productions had to submit an emergency medical services plan to the city in order to get the permits to close the streets. The plan said that medical services would be provided by American Medical Response and the Palmer College of Chiropractic – West. The plan said that PCCW would supply event-trained medical personnel who were students with CPR certifications. It also said that there would be med tents located at several places, including at the finish line and that the head clinician, a chiropractic doctor, would be located in the postrace tent on the day of the race. In other parts of the plan, it stated that there would be one medical doctor and six emergency medical technicians at the finish line along with an automatic external defibrillator.

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