Report: Los Angeles County said Vanessa Bryant has no 'viable legal claims' in crash photos lawsuit
While Los Angeles County sentenced its staff for sharing photos of the site of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight other people last year, it said Monday that the lawsuit filed by Kobe's widow was unfeasible.
Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit against the county last year, accusing four Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies of sharing photos of Bryant and the eight others who were killed in January 2020, following actions by his staff who shared photos .
"The county does not condone this exhibition of photos of accident sites and has taken appropriate corrective action for the staff," said the file today on the United States. "However, this does not mean that the plaintiff has viable legal claims."
The county expressed its "deepest condolences and condolences" to Bryant and her family on the file, but said that the "case is not about this tragedy." It's about photos of accident sites. "
Vanessa Bryant names officials in the lawsuit
Via Instagram in March, Bryant named the four Los Angeles County Sheriff's MPs who allegedly took and shared the graphic photos of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe, her daughter Gianna, and seven others. Their post made disturbing allegations about what these MPs did with the photos.
According to the lawsuit, officer Joey Cruz allegedly showed photos of the accident and "bragged" about them to a bartender two days after the crash. That bartender then allegedly went to another guest table and told them what had happened - something one of those customers said was "very, very bothersome" and got them to file a complaint with the sheriff's department as soon as they left the restaurant to submit.
Cruz allegedly showed the photos to his niece, another bar patron, and allegedly made "a rough remark about the condition of the remains of the victims."
Another officer, Deputy Michael Russell, reportedly sent photos of the crash to a friend he is playing video games with.
Bryant claimed that photos spread to at least 10 department members within 48 hours of the crash, and that a deputy took between 25 and 100 photos on his personal phone.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva allegedly told MPs who took the photos that they would not be disciplined if they deleted the photos and did not tell internal affairs about the incident until after the news about the photos was released.
Despite their allegations, Los Angeles County said on the court record that Vanessa's lawsuit was invalid because the photos were not posted online or given to a media company. The county said that "showing a photo of an accident scene to a member of the public cannot constitute an invasion of the plaintiff's privacy" under California law.
"They were not publicly distributed," the county told USA Today. The plaintiff filed this lawsuit because it feared that photos could be publicly distributed. There is no legal basis to sue defendants for hypothetical harm. "
According to USA Today, Bryant and her attorney plan to "conduct more than forty dumps, forensic investigations of electronic devices and cloud-based storage accounts owned by defendants and third parties, and expert reports and dumps." They also met calls for the officials' phones and cloud storage to be inspected.
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