Bryant’s Lawyers: Jury should assume that crash photos are widespread

Vanessa Bryant’s attorneys on Monday filed a motion in her lawsuit over the photos of the helicopter crash scene taken by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies that, if granted, would oblige the jury to accept the wider public disclosure of the images since Evidence has been destroyed.

The expropriation sanction motion is the latest move in Kobe Bryant’s widow’s complaint of severe emotional distress after learning that MPs and firefighters shared gruesome pictures of the crash site where her husband, daughter Gianna and seven others saw it in January 2020 photos were shared internally and by a MP who turned off his cell phone in a Norwalk bar and a fire chief who showed the pictures on his phone at a cocktail hour with an awards ceremony.

A judge’s decision in favor of the motion could undo the county’s efforts to dismiss the case before trial.

Luis Li, Bryant’s senior attorney, argued that Sheriff Alex Villaneuva, after hearing a citizen complaint on Jan.

An investigation by the Los Angeles Times in March found that MPs shared the gritty images of the crime scene. Bryant’s attorneys have argued that prior to wiping the devices, Vanessa Bryant was unable to find out who the pictures were shared with because county officials did not tell employees to keep their phones.

County lawyers have confirmed MPs and three fire chiefs shared pictures of the crash site.

Skip Miller, a district attorney, said Villanueva was trying to keep a promise he made to Vanessa Bryant that the photos would not be made available to the public by ordering the immediate deletion of the pictures.

In a recent statement on the case, Bryant recalled telling Villanueva, “If you can’t bring my husband and baby back, please make sure no one takes pictures of them. Please secure the area. ”

In court documents, Miller said that Bryant’s attorneys wanted an “adverse conclusion” in a summary judgment and trial, and that this lost evidence revealed “further electronic dissemination” of the photos.

He claims Vanessa Bryant couldn’t suffer from crash photos that she never saw and that were never publicly shared because of the deletions. The district’s lawyers hope the case will be dismissed before trial if they can prove that the general public never saw the pictures.

Bryant’s attorneys have argued that the county did not attempt to preserve the software on the affected cell phones after learning of the citizens’ complaint and have said in court documents that a sheriff’s captain raised concerns about the order to delete the material expressed, was downgraded.

County attorneys have countered that Bryant is hoping to punish the county for completing their request.

“While the county continues to have deep sympathy for the grief Ms. Bryant has endured, her lawyers’ petition for sanctions is an attempt to divert attention from the fact that none of the routine investigation photos taken by the county staff ever public was circulating, “Miller said in a statement to the Times.

But Bryant’s attorney noted in court documents that the pictures were not routinely shared and photos were given to others outside the chain of command.

Christopher Chester’s attorneys, who filed a lawsuit mirroring Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit, also joined the motion. He lost his wife Sarah Chester and 13-year-old daughter Payton in the Calabasas crash.

The case is slated for a possible trial this coming February. In the past few weeks, US Judge Charles F. Eick has ruled that the county’s motion to force Bryant to undergo an independent medical evaluation was late in light of the trial date.

The decision was another win for Bryant’s legal team, which also convinced the judge to remove the sheriff and the district fire chief. But the county lawyers are also looking at Bryant’s mental health records to see if she was already suffering from emotional stress.

The county has already settled lawsuits from 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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