Vanessa Bryant’s civil lawsuit against the Los Angeles County hit a snag. Before it moves to a trial, LA County wants Bryant to take a psychiatric exam with independent medical examiners to determine if the emotional distress she is suing for is caused by the leak of the photos or the helicopter crash.
The premise of the lawsuit started when deputies of the LA Sheriff’s Department shared photos of the helicopter crash with a bartender in suburban Los Angeles. Bryant alleges that up to 100 photos were shared amongst at least 10 deputies and some from the LA Fire Department within two days of the crash.
She is suing based on the deputies’ actions further causing her severe emotional distress after the trauma of losing her daughter, Gianna, and Kobe. The County is trying to prevent this from going to trial by hoping some psychiatric exams prove that most of Bryant’s distress was caused by the crash and not from what their deputies allegedly did.
Much of the county’s defense is that Vanessa’s stress was caused primarily from the helicopter crash and has little to nothing to do with the deputies’ misconduct. In the court filings, the county argued that Vanessa ‘cannot be suffering distress from accident site photos that they have never seen and that were never publicly disseminated.’
The Sheriff’s department is already facing over 100 lawsuits just this past year from things ranging from unlawful searches to civil rights violations. Any settlements that the county reaches comes directly from taxpayer dollars.