Kobe Bryant's Wife Vanessa Bryant Wins Important Legal Fight in Crash Photos Case as Los Angeles County Loses Bid to Avoid a Trial
A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed an effort by Los Angeles County lawyers to junk Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit over the leaked photos of her dead husband and daughter.
According to Los Angeles Times, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter junked the county lawyers' motion for summary judgment that would have dismissed the case. Walter noted that there were "genuine issues of material facts for trial," and it was his role to determine them.
"For the reasons stated in [Vanessa Bryant's] opposition, the Court concludes that there are genuine issues of material fact for trial. Accordingly, [LA County's] motion for summary judgment is denied," Walter noted.
In a statement after the ruling, Bryant's attorney Luis Li said the case has always been about accountability, adding that they look forward to presenting the facts to a jury. According to reports, the lawsuit could go to trial as early as next month.
Los Angeles County Attorneys on the Judge's Decision in Vanessa Bryant's Case
The Los Angeles County attorneys, who lost their bid to dismiss Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit, said they "respectfully disagree with the court's ruling."
In a statement, Skip Miller, the lawyer representing the county, noted that the county did not cause Bryant's loss and that no photos at the helicopter crash site were "ever publicly disseminated."
"The county did its job and looks forward to showing that at trial," said Miller, a partner at the Miller Barondess law firm.
Vanessa Bryant Sues Los Angeles County for Kobe Bryant Crash Scene's Leaked Photos
Vanessa Bryant has sued the Los Angeles County for invasion of privacy and negligence. The wife of late Kobe Bryant claimed that the county sheriff's and fire department employees improperly shared images of human remains from a helicopter crash that killed the NBA legend, their 13-year-old daughter, and seven other individuals in January 2020.
According to the suit, "no fewer than eight sheriff's deputies at the crash site pulled out their personal cell phones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents and coaches."
Bryant said she suffered great emotional distress after learning of the photos, adding that they compounded the loss of her husband and daughter.
However, the Los Angeles 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.
To defend itself on this point, the county asked the judge to grant its request in obtaining the therapy records of Bryant. Lawyers representing the county have also asked the judge to order Bryant to undergo a psychiatric exam to know whether her distress was caused by the leaked photos or the unexpected loss of her husband and daughter.
They alleged that Bryant could not suffer distress from "photos that they have never seen and that were never publicly disseminated."
Last November, the judge required Bryant to turn over her private therapy records to the court. The judge directed Kobe Bryant's widow and her therapist to produce the medical documents by November 29.
The judge also ordered Bryant to turn over records dating back to January 2010. The judge said the requests were plainly relevant to the claims and the defenses' requests were proportional to the needs of the case.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Joshua Summers
WATCH: Vanessa Bryant is Suing Sheriff & LASD Over Leaked Photos of Kobe Bryant Crash Site - From Law&Crime Network
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