Kobe Bryant’s widow must hand over treatment records
Angels A judge has ruled that Kobe Bryant’s widow must turn over her medical records to Los Angeles County in her lawsuit claiming she suffered emotional distress after paramedics took video footage from the site of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed the basketball star. A teenage daughter and seven others.
The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that US District Judge Charles Eck has approved a request from a district attorney to review Vanessa Bryant’s records. But the judge limited the documents to years since 2017, not 2010, as the lawyers sought.
The judge wrote of the January 26, 2020 crash near Los Angeles: “The plaintiff waived her psychiatrist and patient privilege by raising controversy about the ongoing emotional distress allegedly caused by the defendants’ actions or failures to act.”
In her testimony, Vanessa Bryant testified that because of the photos she experienced constant fear and anxiety and had difficulty sleeping. She’s suing for a breach of privacy, and she’s demanding compensation for emotional distress. A trial of the case is scheduled for February.
District attorneys led by outside counsel Skip Miller argue that the deaths themselves caused her suffering, and have sought treatment records to determine Bryant’s mental state.
The same judge rejected an earlier attempt by the county to require a mental health evaluation.
Her lawyers argued that the effort to obtain her treatment records was an additional breach of her privacy.
“The county continues to have nothing but the deepest sympathy for the immense grief that Ms. Bryant has suffered as a result of the tragic helicopter accident. We are pleased that the court has granted our request for access to her medical records, because Standard request in lawsuits where plaintiffs seek millions of dollars in emotional distress claims.
Lawyers for Vanessa Bryant did not immediately comment.
An investigation by The Times in March revealed that lawmakers had shared horrific images of the scene. The images were shared internally and by a Representative who displayed his cell phone at a Norwalk, California bar, and by a firefighting captain who displayed the images on his phone during the awards ceremony.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has ordered all deputies with photos of the crash to be deleted as soon as they learn of a citizen’s January 29 complaint about the bar incident.
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