The widow of National Basketball Association (NBA) champion and former Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant has reached a pre-trial settlement with the helicopter operating company in which the athlete and his daughter were aboard before his death, NBC reported June 23.
The terms of the settlement between Vanessa Bryant and Island Express were not disclosed. They also deal with claims against the company by the families of the victims of that plane crash.
According to the publication, Island Express Helicopters, which operated the helicopter, and its owner, Island Express Holding Corp. have agreed to settle the claims.
On Jan. 26, 2020, a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter with 41-year-old Bryant on board crashed near Los Angeles, Calif. The pilot and eight passengers died, which also included Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
Vanessa Bryant sued Island Express, the company that owned the helicopter, and accused the pilot of negligence.
In February, officials with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, which was investigating the crash, said the helicopter’s pilot made a mistake when he was disoriented due to high cloud cover. According to air regulator regulations, the pilot should have rerouted to avoid the clouds.
Bryant is one of the most decorated basketball players in the United States. He played 20 seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers as an offensive guard in the NBA. At age 34, he became the youngest player in league history with 30,000 career points. He was a five-time champion with the Lakers and won Olympic gold twice in 2008 and 2012.
Bryant was inducted posthumously into the National Basketball Association Hall of Fame in May. The ceremony was scheduled back in August 2020, but the event was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.