Vanessa Bryant asked to take psychiatric exams in lawsuit against Los Angeles County
The county requests Kobe Bryant's widow be questioned to pinpoint what caused her emotional distress
When Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County in the wake of the untimely deaths of her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna last year, she accused the county’s sheriff’s department of causing emotional distress after photos were shared of the helicopter crash.
Los Angeles County has now requested that Vanessa Bryant be subjected to psychiatric testing, Deadline reports.
In a court filing Friday, the county said it wants to determine whether the photos, which were leaked by county fire and sheriff’s department employees, or the accident itself caused distress for Bryant and her family.
Bryant is suing the County for invasion of privacy and negligence.
Los Angeles County believes that the helicopter crash, which left nine people dead, caused emotional stress, rather than the graphic images taken at the site. The crash killed Kobe, 41, and Gianna Bryant, 13, and seven others when the aircraft went down in Calabasas, California on Jan. 26, 2020. The group was traveling to a youth basketball game in Thousand Oaks, California.
The County made a statement regarding the issue:
“Despite putting their mental condition front and center in this case, Plaintiffs refuse to submit to independent medical examinations (IMEs),” the county said. “The County brings this motion to compel IMEs of the Plaintiffs, which are necessary to evaluate the existence, extent and nature of Plaintiffs’ alleged emotional injuries. Plaintiffs cannot claim that they are suffering from ongoing depression, anxiety and severe emotional distress and then balk at having to support their claims.”
This past May, Los Angeles County accused Bryant of going on a “fishing expedition” regarding her suit and accusations, as previously reported by theGrio.
“This straightforward case, with undisputed facts, has turned into a fishing expedition that is taking first responders away from their jobs — and subjecting them to public harassment and threats,” said a filing submitted in federal court by attorneys for the county. “Defendants are eager to have their day in Court and put an end to this.”
Two months prior, Bryant had publicly identified four deputies she believes shared the crash site photos via text messages and phone sharing via posts to her Instagram page, as reported by theGrio. With no captions, Bryant posted photos of legal documents of her case with circles around their names: Joey Cruz, Rafael Mejia, Michael Russell and Raul Versales.
Bryant said that between the deputies, somewhere between 25 to 100 photos of the crash site were shared. She also singled out Mejia for sharing the photos with two others.
In addition to Los Angeles County, Bryant also sued the helicopter company over Kobe and Gianna’s death, as previously reported by theGrio. She filed suit against Island Express Helicopters Inc., as well as the estate of pilot Ara Zobayan, who also died in the crash.
In June, the suit was settled out of court, but the terms were not disclosed.
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