LA County wants Vanessa Bryant to undergo a psychiatric exam – .

LA County wants Vanessa Bryant to undergo a psychiatric exam – .

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County is seeking to require psychiatric assessments for the widow of Kobe Bryant and others to determine if they really suffered emotional distress after first responders took and shared graphic photos of the site of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed the basketball star, her teenage daughter and seven others, court documents show.

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 deceased children, parents and coaches “. The Los Angeles Times first reported that an internal investigation by the Sheriff’s Department found that lawmakers 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 confronted with gruesome images of loved ones in her family. line, ”court documents indicate.

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 from the accident and the loss of their 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 ”.

Los Angeles County attorneys, in a statement released to The Associated Press Monday, said the county had “great sympathy” for Bryant’s losses.

“It’s horrible, the worst imaginable,” they said in the statement. “But she sued the county for something that didn’t happen. There has been no public disclosure of photos from the crash site, none. We therefore consider this matter to be a scam and do what is necessary to defend our client.

Bryant’s attorneys declined to comment immediately Monday afternoon.


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