Vanessa Bryant must hand over therapy records in Kobe crash case, judge says – .

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Vanessa Bryant must hand over therapy records in Kobe crash case, judge says – .


Vanessa Bryant must turn over her therapy records to Los Angeles County in her lawsuit claiming she was in severe emotional distress after learning MPs and firefighters shared footage of a helicopter crash scene where her husband, Kobe Bryant, and daughter died.
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Charles Eick allowed a request from county attorneys to review the records. But the judge has limited the files to years since 2017, not 2010 as the lawyers had requested.

“The plaintiff waived her privilege as a psychotherapist-patient by disputing the continuing emotional distress which would have been extraordinary and which would have resulted from the actions or inactions of the defendants relating to the photograph,” the judge wrote of the accident of January 26, 2020 that killed Kobe and Gianna. Bryant and seven others.

In her testimony, Vanessa Bryant said that due to the photos, she suffered from constant fear and anxiety and had trouble sleeping. She is suing for invasion of privacy, seeking damages for emotional distress.

County attorneys led by outside attorney Skip Miller searched therapy records to determine Bryant’s mental state. They argue that the deaths themselves caused his distress. The same judge rejected a previous attempt by the county to force him to undergo a mental health assessment.

His lawyers argued that the effort to get his therapy records was yet another invasion of his privacy.

“The County continues to have only the deepest sympathy for the tremendous grief Ms. Bryant suffered as a result of the tragic helicopter crash. We are delighted that the court granted our request to access his medical records, as this is a standard request in lawsuits where a plaintiff demands millions of dollars for allegations of emotional distress, ”Miller said. in a statement Monday.

Miller argues that Vanessa Bryant could not be in severe distress from crash photos she has never seen and which were never shared publicly because LA County Sheriff Alex Villaneuva had ordered their removal.

The photos were shared internally and by an assistant who displayed her cell phone at a bar in Norwalk and by a fire captain who showed the images on his phone at an awards cocktail party.

Villaneuva ordered all MPs with footage of the crash to delete them immediately after learning of a citizen complaint on January 29 regarding the bar incident.

A Los Angeles Times investigation in March found lawmakers shared the grim images of the scene. Bryant’s attorneys argued that because county agencies did not order their employees to keep their phones, Bryant was deprived of the ability to know who the footage was being shared with before the devices were cleaned.

Miller argued that by ordering the immediate removal of the images, Villanueva was seeking to keep his promise to Vanessa Bryant that the photos would not be published.

In her recent testimony in the case, Bryant recalled that she told Villanueva, “If you can’t bring my husband and baby back, make sure no one takes a picture of them. Please secure the area.

The case is due to be judged next February. The county has already settled lawsuits brought by Matthew Mauser for $ 1.25 million and siblings JJ Altobelli and Alexis Altobelli for an additional $ 1.25 million. Mauser’s wife Christine and the Altobellis’ mother, father and younger sister – Keri, John and Alyssa – died in the crash.

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