A judge has ruled that Vanessa Bryant will not have to undergo a psychiatric evaluation in her lawsuit against Los Angeles County over leaked photos of her late husband’s fatal helicopter crash.
Just last month, LA County argued independent medical examinations were necessary to determine whether the emotional distress suffered by Bryant and others was caused by the leak of the photos or the helicopter crash itself. But according to court documents filed on Monday, Magistrate Judge Charles F. Eick denied their October 15 request on the grounds a psychiatric evaluation would be “untimely.”
Skip Miller, outside counsel for LA County, said:
“The fact remains that no crash site photos taken by first responders have ever been publicly disseminated, as Ms. Bryant confirmed in her deposition. We totally sympathize with the enormous loss she has suffered. But as a legal matter, we don’t believe she could be harmed by something that didn’t occur.”
According to court filings, Los Angeles County argued that a “central tenet” of its defense would be that the “severe emotional and mental injuries were not caused by any conduct of Defendants, but rather by the tragic helicopter crash and resulting deaths of their loved ones.”
The county argued the plaintiffs “cannot be suffering distress from accident site photos that they have never seen and that were never publicly disseminated.”
The trial is set to begin in February 2022.