LA County to pay $2.5M to settle Kobe crash photo lawsuits

Nov 2, 2021, 3:47 AM | Updated: 3:48 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County agreed Tuesday to pay $2.5 million to two families who lost relatives in last year’s helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven other people.

The Board of Supervisors approved a settlement of two federal lawsuits filed by the Altobelli and Mauser families alleging they suffered emotional distress over graphic photographs of the scene that reportedly were taken or shared by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and firefighters.

A similar lawsuit by Bryant’s widow continues, however.

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the others were flying to a girls basketball tournament on Jan. 26, 2020, when their helicopter crashed in the Calabasas hills west of Los Angeles in foggy weather. Federal safety officials blamed pilot error for the wreck.

The settlement, if approved by a judge, will pay $1.25 million to Matthew Mauser, whose wife was killed. Another $1.25 million will be shared by J.J. Altobelli and Alexis Altobelli, siblings who lost their mother, father and 14-year-old sister.

The county already spent about $1.3 million in legal costs in the two invasion-of-privacy cases, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The settlements are “reasonable and fair to all concerned,” said Skip Miller, an attorney representing the county. “We are pleased that the Mauser and Altobelli families, who as private citizens suffered the same grief and loss as others, will be able to move forward after these settlements. We also hope that eventually the other families will be able to do the same.”

Vanessa Bryant continues her own lawsuit over the photos, which weren’t taken as part of the investigation into the crash.

A federal judge on Monday ruled that she won’t have to undergo an independent psychological examination that the county had argued was necessary to determine whether she had suffered emotional distress.

Attorneys for the county had argued that Bryant had never seen the photographs, which haven’t been made public.

According to the lawsuits, they were shared by a deputy trainee with some bar patrons and by a firefighter with a group of off-duty colleagues.

Vanessa Bryant said in a deposition that “for the rest of my life I’m going to have to fear that these photographs of my husband and child will be leaked.”

Last week, the judge ordered that the sheriff and fire chief must provide depositions in the case, which is scheduled for trial in February.

Also pending is a lawsuit filed by survivors of crash victims Sarah Chester and her 13-year-old daughter.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) changes direction while defended by Chicago Bulls forw...
Associated Press

Poole scores 30 points with seven 3s off bench, Warriors win

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Draymond Green is healthy and back to his elite level of doing a bit of everything on both ends, even leading the offense with the second unit. He just missed his first triple-double of the season. Green is regularly knocking down 3-pointers, too. Jordan Poole also found his groove from beyond […]
23 hours ago
Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard, left, guards against Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) dur...
Associated Press

Markkanen, Kessler help Jazz overwhelm Pacers 139-119

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lauri Markkanen had 24 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz to a 139-119 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night. Rookie center Walker Kessler scored a career-high 20 points on 7-of-7 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds for Utah. Jordan Clarkson had 19 points and Collin Sexton […]
23 hours ago
San Diego State forward Jaedon LeDee (13) shoots over Occidental forward Bernard Cassidy (34) durin...
Associated Press

Seiko, No. 24 San Diego St beat Division III Occidental

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Adam Seiko scored 20 points, including six 3s, to lead No. 24 San Diego State over Division III Occidental 95-57 on Friday night. The Aztecs (6-2) hit 19 of 37 shots from 3-point range. They won their second in a row after consecutive defeats to Arizona and Arkansas at the Maui […]
23 hours ago
Utah wide receiver Jaylen Dixon (25) fumbles the ball during the first half of the Pac-12 Conferenc...
Associated Press

No. 4 USC falls to Utah in Pac-12 , damaging playoff hopes

LAS VEGAS (AP) — No. 12 Utah pounded a limping, bloodied Caleb Williams and roared past No. 4 Southern California 47-24 on Friday night to win the Pac-12 Championship and put USC’s College Football Playoff hopes in doubt. The loss by the Trojans (11-2) could open the way for Ohio State (11-1) to take their […]
23 hours ago
Maryland forward Donta Scott (24) handles the ball against Illinois guard RJ Melendez during the fi...
Associated Press

No. 22 Maryland tops No. 16 Illinois 71-66 to stay unbeaten

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Kevin Willard has already brought the buzz back at Maryland. Jahmir Young scored 24 points, including a crucial 3-pointer with 14.3 seconds remaining that helped the No. 22 Terrapins stay undefeated with a 71-66 victory over No. 16 Illinois on Friday night. As impressive as the win was, the atmosphere […]
23 hours ago
Phoenix Suns guard Landry Shamet drives on Houston Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr. (6) during the...
Associated Press

Rockets rally from 16 down to beat Booker, Suns 122-121

PHOENIX (AP) — Jalen Green sccored 30 points to jolt the Houston Rockets’ offense and even managed to slow down the scorching Devin Booker — at least a little. The result was a stunning 122-121 victory over the Phoenix Suns that featured a 16-point comeback in the second half and a white-knuckle final possession that […]
23 hours ago
LA County to pay $2.5M to settle Kobe crash photo lawsuits