LA County reportedly set to pay $2.5 million in settlements over Kobe Bryant crash photos

Kobe Bryant memorial
(Image credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

Los Angeles County is reportedly expected to pay $2.5 million to two families who lost loved ones in the helicopter crash that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant last year.

The county under the terms of the proposed settlement would pay the Altobelli and Mauser families $1.25 million each after they sued over first responders allegedly improperly sharing photos from the helicopter crash site, USA Today reports. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors still needs to approve the settlement and will consider doing so on Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"We believe these proposed settlements of $1.25 million are reasonable and fair to all concerned," the county's outside counsel said. "We are pleased that the Mauser and Altobelli families, who as private citizens suffered the same grief and loss as others, will be able to move forward after these settlements."

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Bryant and eight others, including Christina Mauser, Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, and John Altobelli, were killed in a helicopter crash in January 2020, and the Los Angeles Times reported the following month sheriff's deputies inappropriately shared graphic photos taken from the crash site. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he ordered eight deputies to delete the photos and told them "in no uncertain terms that the behavior is inexcusable." In one case, photos from the scene were allegedly shown in a bar, according to NBC News. An attorney for the county has said there is "no evidence any photos taken by county first responders have ever been publicly disseminated."

Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Kobe Bryant, has also sued the county over the crash site photos, and Villanueva and the county's fire chief were recently ordered to provide deposition in that case. The county is requesting that she undergo a psychiatric evaluation to show she has suffered emotional distress. Bryant's trial is expected to begin in February 2022.

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