The brother of the pilot in the helicopter crash that killed all nine people aboard including NBA legend Kobe Bryant says the passengers had fault and were negligent, according to court papers filed recently.
Attorneys for Berge Zobayan, listed as successor in interest for pilot Ara Zobayan, allege “any injuries or damages to plaintiffs and/or their decedent was directly caused in full or in part by the negligence or fault of plaintiffs and/or their decedent,” according to the 7-page document.
The document, an answer to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, adds the passengers knew the risks involved.
“And that this negligence was a substantial factor in causing their purported damages, for which this answering defendant bears no responsibility,” the response says.
Attorneys for Zobayan shift “negligence, fault or wrongful conduct of third parties, whom this answering defendant neither controlled nor had the right to control.”
Among other requests, Berge Zobayan’s lawyers ask for judgment in his favor and for the lawsuit to be dismissed.
The complaint held Island Express, the helicopter company, and Ara Zobayan responsible for the crash citing numerous counts of negligence.
Island Express had no comment Monday and a representative for the company previously told CNN it does not comment on ongoing litigation.
Arthur Willner, an attorney for Berge Zobayan, told CNN the man is the pilot’s brother and the lawyer had no further comment. CNN’s request for comment to representatives for Vanessa Bryan were not immediately answered.
The response, filed Friday, also said Berge Zobayan denies every allegation in Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit. No trial date has been scheduled.
Other lawsuits from families who lost someone in the crash don’t list Zobayan as a defendant.
Two families of people who died in the helicopter crash with Kobe Bryant and his daughter have filed wrongful death claims against the company that owned and operated the aircraft.
The lawyer representing both the Mauser and Altobelli families filed separate complaints for damages claiming Island Express Helicopters was negligent and careless.
A representative for Island Express Helicopters told CNN that the company does not comment on pending litigation.
Victims also include Payton Chester, 13; Sarah Chester, 45; and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.
CNN’s Ralph Ellis contributed to this report.