Los Angeles County approves $ 2.5 million settlement for two families over Kobe Bryant crash photos

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $ 2.5 million settlement for two families, which said law enforcement officials illegally shared photos of the crash site from the January 2020 helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others, CBS Los Angeles reported. The settlement, which is now awaiting court approval, does not cover a separate lawsuit filed by Bryant’s wife Vanessa.

The board approved two payments of $ 1.25 million each to the Altobelli and Mauser families, both of whom had relatives who died in the crash, following a recommendation from county attorney Rodrigo Castro-Silva. John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa were all killed, as was Christina Mauser.

Kobe Bryant Memorial on LA Live
Crews behind a screened fence remove Kobe Bryant’s memorial at LA Live on Monday, February 3, 2020, as a few scattered objects are left in front of the Staples Center.

MediaNews Group / Pasadena Star-Ne

The Altobelli and Mauser families filed two separate lawsuits, saying the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and Fire Department “incorrectly took and shared photos of the crash site, including photos depicting the remains of their loved ones,” Castro-Silva said in his recommendation.

Los Angeles County has already spent just under $ 1.3 million in fees and litigation costs to date on the two cases, he said. He called for the approval of the settlement to “avoid further litigation costs.”

Bryant’s wife Vanessa filed her own lawsuit over the photos. A federal judge in March ruled that Vanessa could get hold of the names of the deputies who allegedly shared the photos, and she later filed an amended lawsuit in which she publicly named the four she claimed were involved. The trial is ongoing.

Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill making it a misdemeanor for first aiders to capture or share images of dead bodies for reasons other than official purposes.


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