Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, has agreed to settle a lawsuit with a helicopter operator following the death of the sportsman last year in an air disaster.

Basketball superstar Kobe was 41-years-old when the helicopter he was travelling in on January 26, 2020, smashed into the side of a mountain, exploded in a fireball, and killed all nine on board – including Kobe and 39-year-old Vanessa’s 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

Vanessa and the relatives of the other victims have filed a settlement agreement with a federal judge in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

However, reports state that the terms of the agreement deal are confidential and won’t be made public.

Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant
Vanessa Bryant has reportedly reached a settlement with the company that operated the helicopter her late husband, Kobe, was killed in

If the agreement is approved by the court, it will bring to an end the wrongful death and negligence lawsuit that the grieving families were pursuing against the helicopter operator and estate of the pilot, Ara Zobayan.

A the time of the fateful flight – which had intended to take Kobe, his daughter, and the other passengers to a youth basketball tournament in the San Fernando Valley – there was fog and rain in the area.

Other flights at the time had been grounded by the bad weather conditions, but the helicopter Kobe and the others travelled on had attempted to make the journey.

Gianna Bryant and Kobe Bryant
Both Kobe and his daughter, Gianna, were killed in the helicopter crash

The helicopter crashed into the side of a mountain in the Calabasas area of Los Angeles with wreckage burning after the disaster.

A National Transportation Safety Board report released earlier this year had blamed the pilot for the crash and, as Sky News reports, suggested: “poor decisions led him to fly blindly into cloud where he became disoriented and thought he was climbing when he was actually descending.”

While the helicopter operator, Island Express Helicopters, was also criticised: “for poor oversight of safety matters.”

The surviving families lawsuit had been arguing that the helicopter operator company had failed to train Mr Zobayan properly and had been negligent to allow the flight to proceed under the foggy and wet weather conditions.

Island Express Helicopters, however, had tried to argue they couldn’t be held responsible for the tragedy, citing the incident was: "an act of God”.

The others killed in the crash were Orange baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, Christina Mauser, who helped Bryant coach his daughter's basketball team, and Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton.

Ara Zobayan
Ara Zobayan was the pilot of the helicopter that crashed, killing nine

The sporting world was in mourning when news broke of Kobe’s death last year.

The star and his daughter were laid to rest in a private funeral at the Pacific View Memorial Park in the Corona del Mar neighborhood of Newport Beach, California, on February 7 last year.

While a star studded public memorial was held on February 24 at the Staples Centre in Downtown Los Angeles, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and with speeches by devastated wife Vanessa, and fellow sport stars Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan, among others.