Island Express, the company that operated the helicopter that killed Kobe Bryant and 8 others, is suing the 2 air traffic controllers who they claim caused the crash.
The helicopter company claims the 2 air traffic controllers who were guiding the pilot to the Mamba Academy, The controllers were asked by the pilot for radar guidance, presumably because of the heavy fog. According to the lawsuit, one of the controllers responded by saying, "I'm going to lose radar and comms [communications] probably pretty shortly so you can just squawk V-F-R [visual flight rules] and when you get closer go to Camarillo tower."
The company claims the controller denied the pilot the use of what it believes is life-saving radar, despite the fact that radar guidance had not yet been lost.
Another controller then relieved the first and according to the suit, less than 2 minutes later the pilot radioed in, but the new controller was unhelpful and uninformed.
According to the suit, the pilot believed he was still operating on radar because the tower operators did not clearly say it was being terminated. Nevertheless, the company claims the helicopter did suddenly lose radio and radar contact in the fog.
The suit claims at some point -- presumably when the pilot was in the fog -- radio contact came back, and the controller tried reaching the pilot repeatedly, and that caused the pilot additional stress. What's unclear ... it would seem the controller was calling to guide the pilot.
Short story ... the helicopter company says the tower operators caused the pilot stress and distraction which ultimately caused the crash.