Vanessa Bryant Must Turn Over Private Therapy Records to Solidify Legal Battle About Kobe Bryant’s Crash Photos: Judge
As part of her lawsuit against the Los Angeles County over the leaked photos of her dead husband and daughter, Vanessa Bryant was requested by a federal magistrate judge on Monday's ruling to turn over her private therapy records to the court.
Judge Orders Vannesa Bryant to Submit Therapy Records
According to USA Today, Federal Magistrate Judge Charles Eick ruled to order Vanessa Bryant and her therapist to produce the medical documents by November 29. Eick also ordered Kobe Bryant's widow to turn over records dating to January 2017 after the LA county had asked for her records dating to January 2010.
Eick wrote in his ruling that the requests were plainly relevant to the claims and the defenses' requests were proportional to the needs of the case.
LA County Counters Vannesa Bryant With Therapy Records Request After Pursuing Crash Photos Claims
Based on the report, Vannesa Bryant sued the LA County for invasion of privacy after the county's first responders allegedly shared improperly the photos of human remains from a helicopter crash last year that killed nine individuals, including the NBA legend and her daughter.
Moreover, Kobe Bryant's widow sought damages from the county because she claimed to have suffered emotional distress because of the leaked photos.
However, the LA County fought back against the allegations and suggested that her emotional distress was caused by the deaths of her family member and was not anything that county sheriff's and fire department workers did with photos afterward.
Also, to defend itself on this point, the county asked the judge to grant its request in obtaining the therapy records of Vanessa Bryant as the case would be heading to trial in February. The county claimed that there were no photos that were publicly disseminated beyond isolated incidents at a bar and an awards show event.
However, the attempt of the county was countered by Bryant's attorney, saying that the request came too late and it would further invade the privacy of Kobe Bryant's widow.
An attorney for Bryant, Mari Saigal, wrote in a court document filed Friday that the effort should be seen as an attempt to bully Mrs. Bryant into dropping her case to avoid her private therapy records being brandished in open court and reported on by media outlets.
Judge Charles Eick ruled against her, saying the county's purpose in this discovery appeared neither abusive nor harassing. He stated that an existing protective order in the case would protect her privacy interests. He also pointed out that Vanessa Bryant waived her psychotherapist-patient privilege by placing into controversy the reportedly extraordinary, continuing emotional distress allegedly resulting from the photograph-related actions or inactions by the defendants.
Despite the ongoing legal battle, the county has expressed sympathy to Vanessa Bryant for her loss but they still made clear why it was going after her therapy records.
The county clarified that their request for Plaintiff's therapy records was not an intimidation tactic, and stated that it was just a routine part of discovery in emotional distress cases. Mrs. Bryant was the widow of one of the greatest and most beloved athletes of all time and they considered her not a typical plaintiff, but the rules of discovery were applied equally to all litigants; there were no special exceptions for the rich and famous.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Jess Smith
WATCH: LA County demands Vanessa Bryant take psychiatric exam ahead of trial
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