Vanessa Bryant, whose federal lawsuit against the county alleges invasion of privacy, claimed in court documents that she had experienced “severe emotional distress” which compounded the trauma of the loss of her husband and daughter. 13-year-old Gianna.
Kobe Bryant and the others were killed on January 26, 2020, when the helicopter they were aboard, en route to a women’s basketball tournament, crashed in the hills west of Los Angeles by foggy weather. Federal safety officials blamed the pilot’s error for the wreckage.
Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit claims first responders, including firefighters and sheriff’s assistants, shared photographs of Kobe Bryant’s body with a bartender and circulated “free photos of dead children, parents and coaches “. The investigation found that the deputies had shared photos of the remains of the victims.
None of the first responders were directly involved in the crash investigation or had a legitimate purpose in taking or circulating the grisly photos, the prosecution claims. Governor Gavin Newsom last year approved helicopter crash-induced legislation that made it a felony for first responders to take unauthorized photos of people who died at the scene of an accident or crime.
Ms. Bryant feels bad about strangers looking at the footage of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day be faced with gruesome images of loved ones online. », Indicate court documents.
Los Angeles County attorneys want the court to order Bryant and other family members of those killed in the crash, including children, to undergo psychiatric evaluations as independent medical examinations. Lawyers suggest that the assessments be audio and video recorded and last eight hours for adults and four to six hours for children.
The county contends that while the families “undoubtedly suffered severe distress and trauma as a result of the crash and the loss of loved ones, their distress was not caused by (first responders). or by photos of the site of the accident which have never been released publicly ”.
LA County attorneys have written in court documents that such psychiatric examinations are “necessary to assess the nature and extent” of the families’ alleged injuries.
Lawyers for Vanessa Bryant, in documents filed Friday, said the county was using “scorched earth discovery tactics” designed to intimidate her and other victims’ family members into “giving up. their quest for responsibility ”.
Lawyers for Bryant and Los Angeles did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.