Five of the lawsuits are interconnected, with the victims’ families seeking damages and alleging fault for the crash. Three others involve photos of the scene that were allegedly taken by Los Angeles County authorities. Attorneys representing a half-dozen parties in the assorted lawsuits – including Vanessa Bryant, the helicopter company and the pilot – either did not respond to requests for comment from USA TODAY Sports or declined to comment citing the pending litigation.
Christopher Odell, a partner at the law firm Arnold & Porter, said the crux of the litigation – the families’ wrongful death claims – is not complicated as far as aviation crash matters are concerned. And that gives Vanessa Bryant and the other victims’ families some momentum, he said. “It’s a fairly straightforward claim, right? ‘Our family members were passengers on the helicopter. The helicopter crashed. It’s your fault,’ ” said Odell, an expert in aviation litigation. “If you are the defendants, you have a much more complicated story that you’re going to need to tell.”
Clifford said it’s possible that Vanessa Bryant could also use the crash, and the subsequent wrongful death lawsuits, as a vehicle to push for improved safety measures. He likened it to the two crashes of Boeing 737 MAX airplanes in 2019, which killed 346 people. “It took those crashes to lead to some changes in design and regulation,” Clifford said. “A case like Kobe Bryant serves, and has potential, to do the same thing, from the perspective of advancing aviation safety.”
Darren Heitner: A North Carolina federal court has ruled in favor of Zion Williamson. The agreement between Zion & his former marketing agents is deemed void as a matter of law.
A federal judge in North Carolina has granted Zion Williamson partial judgment in his lawsuit against a former marketing agent who sued the New Orleans Pelicans star for $100 million in damages claiming breach of contract. In Wednesday’s ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Loretta C. Biggs voided Williamson’s marketing agreement with Gina Ford and Prime Sports Marketing because it didn’t meet the requirements of North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act.
“Having considered the pleadings, viewed in the light most favorable to Defendants and drawing all reasonable inferences in Defendants’ favor, the Court concludes that Plaintiff is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the issue of whether the Agreement is void,” Biggs wrote in her ruling.
The Detroit Pistons announced today they are partnering with the Detroit Police Department to launch the Advancing African American Teens Mentoring Program. The program will include a series of monthly mentorship virtual meetings created to engage Detroit-area teenagers through positive dialogue, enrichment philosophies and life strategies to help them realize their power in reaching their goals.