Whether they are pro basketball fans or not, many California residents were stunned when they heard the news that the former Los Angeles Lakers star and NBA legend was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on Jan. 26. The accident took the lives of his daughter Gianna and everyone else who was on the flight. The group was en route to a youth basketball game that his daughter was scheduled to play in.

On Feb. 24, Kobe’s widow Vanessa filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that operated the helicopter. The weather on the morning of the flight was abnormally foggy, and the suit alleges that the pilot should not have been allowed to depart at the outset and that he failed to monitor the conditions prior to taking off. It further claims that he should have aborted the flight once he learned about the low clouds and fog in the flight path.

As the pilot was an employee of the helicopter operator, the lawsuit claims that the company should be held responsible under the theory of vicarious liability. It also notes that the company was only certified to have its aircraft flown using visual flight rules and not instrument flight rules. The former generally requires good visibility, which was not present at the time.

The sudden loss of a loved one can be difficult under any circumstances, but it is even more so when it is the result of another party’s negligence. People who find themselves in this type of a position might want to meet with an attorney in order to learn what types of damages can be sought in a wrongful death lawsuit.