Los Angeles County filed a motion asking for Vanessa Bryant’s photo leak lawsuit to be dismissed.
The County’s attorneys claimed that Kobe Bryant’s crash site photos are deleted and unrecoverable.
Bryant sued the county for emotional distress and invasion of privacy after officers took photos of the crash.
Attorneys representing Los Angeles County and members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department filed a motion on Monday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa Bryant.
In September of last year, Vanessa Bryant sued the LA Sheriff’s Department, the fire department, the County, and eight individual officers, following reports that first responders took and shared photos of the gruesome crash site where Kobe her daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, and seven others died in January 2020.
LA County’s attorneys argued that photos of the ex-NBA superstar’s helicopter crash are deleted and can’t be recovered.
According to court records, the defendants are seeking for a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit based on the work done by a forensic independent examiner who reviewed over 20 LASD and LACFD devices and reportedly found no crash site photos.
In the past months, Kroll’s Forensic Investigations and Intelligence team, the forensic examiner selected by the parties in the case, was reportedly unable to retrieve crash site photos from officers’ electronic devices.
“After reviewing over 20 LASD and LACFD devices, Kroll confirmed that there are no photos containing victims’ remains and no evidence of public dissemination,” attorneys representing the county said in the filing.
“There is therefore nothing for Plaintiff to fear. The photos are gone and, according to Kroll and Plaintiff’s own expert, cannot be recovered,” they added.
Bryant accused the deputies of “negligence” and “intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of her right to privacy,” the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.
“Plaintiff’s claim is also based on her fear of public dissemination,” the County’s attorneys wrote. “To date, almost two years after the crash, it is undisputed that no LASD or LACFD photos have been posted on the Internet, released in the media, or otherwise publicly disseminated,” they added.
After the incident, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva apologized, acknowledged that eight officers took photos, and said the photos have been deleted and the deputies are under investigation.
Bryant’s attorneys recently filed a motion for spoliation sanctions against LA County, saying that LACFD and LASD did not ask employees to hold on to key information and potentially incriminating evidence.
Insider reached out to Bryant’s attorneys and attorneys representing the county for comment.
Parties in the case have until November 29 to finish the discovery processes.
In previous filings, Bryant’s attorneys have stated they have conducted close to 50 depositions with various Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies, fire captains, and LA County staff, and LA County claimed to have conducted a forensic electronic exam on the electronic devices of staff who took photos of the crash.
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