Los Angeles judge grants depositions of sheriff, fire chief in Kobe Bryant crash photos case

Vanessa Bryant sued LA County final year alleging emotional misery after discovering sheriff’s deputies snapped and shared photos of the lethal helicopter crash.

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles federal judge Tuesday granted Vanessa Bryant’s movement to compel depositions of Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Fire Chief Daryl Osby in her lawsuit towards the county over photos of the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash scene allegedly taken and circulated by sheriff’s deputies.

In a ruling obtained by City News Service, U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick sided with Bryant, saying her objective in looking for the depositions “is neither abusive nor harassing.”

Bryant sued Los Angeles County final year, alleging that she and her household suffered extreme emotional misery after discovering that sheriff’s deputies snapped and shared grotesque photos of the helicopter crash scene the place the Lakers legend died, together with their daughter and 7 different folks.

In his order, Eick wrote that the defendants in the lawsuit recognized Villanueva and Osby as “likely to have discoverable information” whom the defendants might use to help their arguments in the case.

The judge wrote that it seems that each Villanueva and Osby have “unique first-hand, non-repetitive knowledge” related to the problems in the case and such information is just not solely obtainable from different sources.

To reduce the impact the timing of the depositions might need on the efficiency of the sheriff and fire chief’s official duties, the judge ordered the depositions be restricted to 4 hours every.

An legal professional defending the county stated that though he disagreed with the judge’s ruling, Villanueva and Osby would comply.

“While we disagree with the court’s decision, we will make both the sheriff and fire chief available for deposition,” stated the assertion from legal professional Skip Miller. “Their testimony will not change the fact that there is no evidence any photos taken by county first responders have ever been publicly disseminated.”

A message left with Bryant’s lawyer was not instantly answered.

The county is the lead defendant in Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit, which alleges an invasion of privateness that triggered her nice emotional misery. Villanueva and Osby aren’t named defendants in the case, however the sheriff’s and fire departments are.

The lawsuit contends that deputies took and shared photos of the human stays on the Calabasas helicopter crash website on Jan. 26, 2020.

“Faced with a scene of unimaginable loss, 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,” the go well with states.

Attorneys representing the county have requested a judge to order Bryant to endure a psychiatric examination to find out whether or not her misery was attributable to the leaked photos or the surprising loss of her husband of almost 20 years and their 13-year-old daughter.

The county alleges Bryant and different plaintiffs in the case “cannot be suffering distress from accident site photos that they have never seen and that were never publicly disseminated.”

Bryant’s legal professionals have challenged the county’s assertions, saying an” invasive” medical examination is just not vital and that her misery is plainly evident from her personal testimony

“The county’s tactics are simply a cruel attempt to extract a price for victims to obtain accountability,” Bryant’s authorized crew wrote in a submitting in Los Angeles federal court docket. “Rather than take accountability for conduct the sheriff himself has called `wildly inappropriate’ and `disgusting,’ the county has chosen to pull out all the stops to make the case as painful as possible.”

In her personal deposition final Friday, Bryant particulars how she discovered in regards to the crash from a household assistant, rushed to the crash website and later met with Villanueva on the Malibu-Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, the place the sheriff requested if he may do something for her.

“And I said: `If you can’t bring my husband and baby back, please make sure that no one takes photographs of them. Please secure the area,”‘ Bryant was quoted as saying in her deposition. Then, after being informed by Villanueva that he would, she reiterated, “No, I need you to get on the phone right now and I need you to make sure you secure the area.”

Bryant reportedly informed legal professionals she desires the emergency employees who took the images held accountable and can depart financial damages as much as a jury.

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