LOS ANGELES – Lawyers for the helicopter pilot sued by Kobe Bryant's widow have demanded that their lawsuit be moved from Los Angeles, claiming that the defense cannot get a fair trial in the Lakers back yard.
Vanessa Bryant has filed an unlawful death lawsuit before the Los Angeles Supreme Court, accusing Island Express Helicopters and the late pilot Ara Zobayan of being responsible for the crash that killed recently retired 13-year-old basketball daughter Gianna and six other passengers.
"No sensible person can say that an average judge will be passionate about the Bryant family's claims to the defenses put forward by the pilot's estate," said defender Arthur Willner, who represents Zobayan Mountains. listed as an interested successor to the late pilot Ara Zobayan,
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"There is no conclusive argument that the pilot's estate, which the Bryant family claims to have caused Mr. Bryant's death, will not begin with the proverbial" two strikes "in court who are already directed against him Plaintiff's popularity with the jury pool. "
The defense wants the case to be moved to the neighboring Orange County suburb.
Although the bedroom community is on the same television market as Los Angeles and the passengers all lived in Orange County, Willner insisted that no fair trial can take place in LA County.
"I don't think there is less knowledge," Willner told NBC News on Monday.
"Kobe's popularity clearly goes far beyond Los Angeles. But nothing escapes the high esteem that Kobe showed in Los Angeles. For many years he was largely the face of Los Angeles."
A Vanessa Bryant lawyer said the defense request was unfounded.
"We believe that this request to move the Los Angeles district venue has no legal or factual basis," said Bryant's lawyer Gary C. Robb in a statement. "We will speak out strongly against it."
Eric Leonard reported from Los Angeles and David K. Li from New York.