[Epoch Times January 28, 2022](The Epoch Times reporter Wen Hui compiled and reported) On January 26, 2020, a helicopter crashed, taking Kobe Bryant, his daughter and others seven lives. Wednesday (Jan. 26) marks the second anniversary of the crash, and a lawsuit filed by the NBA legend’s widow Vanessa Bryant, which seeks millions of dollars in moral damages, is set to open. ; Inlo County Police Department and Fire Department personnel allegedly shared photos of her relatives’ remains, causing her emotional distress.
In the past week alone, Vanessa and attorneys from various Los Angeles County parties have filed hundreds of pages of statements, motions, proposed jury directions and verdict forms as private mediation failed. The preliminary hearing is scheduled to be presided over by U.S. District Judge John Walter on February 22.
The county attorney said it will prove to a federal jury in downtown Los Angeles that photos taken by crews at the site of the Jan. 26, 2020, hillside crash in Calabasas were never shared with the public, the city news agency reported.
“Two years after the tragic accident that took the lives of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, the County is still saddened by the loss of Ms. Bryant and other families,” said Skip Miller, an outside attorney for Los Angeles County. (Skip Miller) said, “The county has responded adequately to this disaster, dispatching deputy sheriffs and firefighters to handle the aftermath and protect the scene.”
“As part of their duties, these responders took pictures of the scene and sent them to their colleagues in command and to officials at the National Transportation Safety Board. And now, two years later, the fact remains that none of the A photo was circulated publicly. Sadly, Ms. Bryant is suing the county for her actions. There are literally hundreds of photos of the crash site in the media and on the internet, from hikers, cyclists, and others in the area. Media and News Helicopter. We sympathize with her grief, but believe she has misunderstood the subject of the lawsuit.”
Bryant’s widow said in a statement that media reports about the photo being passed on “caused me tremendous pain and distress.”
Vanessa’s attorney said at least 28 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department devices and at least a dozen firefighters spread the remains of the basketball star and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna in the hours after the accident. close-up photo.
According to the widow’s court documents, “and this is just the beginning, as this unpaid sharing continues in the days and weeks to come.”
The county maintains that the digital images were never publicly distributed in any way, so Vanessa’s claims that she was concerned about the appearance of the photos did not constitute grounds for her lawsuit.
Los Angeles County asked a judge to dismiss Vanessa’s lawsuit but failed. In the motion, the county noted that Bryant’s psychiatric claims were based on “hypothetical harm” because the images were never publicly circulated and she had never seen them.
In testimony requested by the court, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said it was “highly inappropriate” to take and share such photos.
In testimony, Villanueva testified that he told his staff to delete the photos to ensure they were not shared because it would cause additional harm to the victim’s family, according to the county attorney.
The county maintains that there is no evidence the “death photos” were circulated inside the police or fire department. When allegations of improper distribution of photos emerged, “they took appropriate action. Every action was to prevent harm, not cause harm”. ◇
Responsible editor: Fang Ping