LA officials want Kobe Bryant’s widow to take a psychiatric exam over legal battle

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Los Angeles County officials said Vanessa Bryant should undergo a psychological evaluation of emotional distress following the death of her husband, Kobe Bryant, amid a lawsuit they filed.

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Ms Bryant is fighting a legal battle against city officials over leaked photos of the tragic 2020 helicopter crash that killed the NBA superstar and her 13-year-old daughter.

As CNN reports, the county argued Friday that Ms Bryant and the other plaintiffs should undergo a psychiatric test to determine whether their emotional distress was due to leaked photos or an actual accident.

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He said this should be done before the test starts in February 2022. The next hearing of the case has been fixed for November 5.

“Plaintiffs cannot claim that they suffer from ongoing depression, anxiety and severe emotional distress and then shy away from supporting their claims,” the county said in its motion, calling the trial “critical” to the defense.

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Ms Bryant filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County in September seeking damages for negligence and invasion of privacy after the county sheriff’s deputy allegedly shared photos from the crash site, where her husband and their daughter Gianna Bryant had died.

On 26 January 2020, all nine people on board the helicopter were killed in a crash in Calabasas City, California.

Her suit alleges that a sheriff took about 100 photos from the crash site on her phone and showed them to a bartender in L.A.

“The abusive actions of the sheriff and the fire department have caused Mrs Bryant to be in serious emotional distress and have exacerbated the trauma of losing Kobe and Gianna,” read their suit.

However, the county argued in its Friday motion that the plaintiffs never saw the photos, which city officials claimed were never publicly circulated.

The county said the plaintiffs are seeking “millions of dollars to compensate them for the alleged mental and emotional injuries,” adding that a psychiatric examination would help determine the “existence, extent and cause” of the “alleged harm.” Will do

Ms Bryant and other plaintiffs’ lawyers hit out against the motion, describing it as “bullying” by resorting to a “scorched Earth search strategy”.

He said the request would compel not only the adult plaintiff but also the juvenile plaintiff to undergo an “eight-hour involuntary psychiatric examination”.

Juvenile plaintiffs were identified by their initials in court filings and are said to also include children and juveniles under the age of five.

He said the court should consider evaluating emotional stress through “less intrusive means”.

In June, Ms. Bryant agreed to settle another lawsuit for wrongful death against the pilot and the company that owned the helicopter Bryant was running.

She alleged that her husband was murdered “as a direct result of the reckless conduct” of the pilot of the Ara Zobayan helicopter and that the company Island Express Helicopters was “liable in every way”.

Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Kobe Bryant

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