L.A. County has agreed to pay $2.5 million to the families of those inside the helicopter with Kobe Bryant during the fatal crash.
The settlements were approved by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday and will go to both the Altobelli and Mauser families, who were said to have experienced emotional distress due to allegations that L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. deputies shared graphic images of the crash scene.
The settlement money will be split in half, with each family receiving $1.25 million.
Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant settled on a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters back in June, with the settlement amount being kept private.
Vanessa Bryant still has an ongoing lawsuit against the county, similar to the one filed by the other families.
Bryant stated that she and her family suffered emotional distress when finding out about the alleged photos taken by Sheriff’s deputies and accused the Sheriff’s of civil rights violations, negligence and violating privacy.
“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 lawsuit stated. “The deputies took these photos for their own personal gratification.”
On Oct. 26, the Los Angeles Superior Court judged ruled that Sheriff Alex Villanueva may testify in the case, along with L.A. Fire Chief Daryl Osby.
Vanessa Bryant Will Not Take Psychiatric Evaluation
It was argued by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors that Vanessa Bryant should take a psychiatric evaluation to determine the emotional distress. On Monday, Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick denied Los Angeles County’s October 15 request, saying a psychiatric evaluation would be “untimely,” according to CNN.
As of this writing, the trial is set to begin in February 2o22.