An insurance company filed court papers Monday seeking reimbursement of more than $100,000 it paid to the family of a late Mamba Sports Academy assistant coach who died along with Kobe Bryant in a 2020 helicopter crash in Calabasas.
Sports Academy LLC/Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. filed the still-unofficial lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters Inc.; that company’s owners, Island Express Holding Corp.; and O.C. Helicopters LLC. All three defendants were the “operators, owners, lessees, managers or maintainers” of the Sikorsky 76-B helicopter that crashed in Calabasas on Jan. 26, 2020, killing nine people, including the 41-year-old Bryant; his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna; and 38-year-old Christina Mauser, the former NBA star’s top assistant coach on their girls youth basketball team.
According to the plaintiff’s court papers, the company has paid more than $127,000 in burial expenses and death benefits to Mauser’s heirs through workers compensation provisions of the state Labor Code, and the insurance company is therefore entitled to reimbursement from the defendants because of their alleged negligence.
Mauser was married and the mother of three children.
An Island Express representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment. However, after Vanessa Bryant sued Island Express Helicopters and Island Express Holding Corp. for wrongful death, the company released a statement calling the crash “a tragic accident” that was caused by events “beyond the control of and unrelated to any actions or conduct.”
The companies reached settlements last year with Vanessa Bryant and the relatives of Mauser and other victims who also sued.