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Los Angeles County attempt to dismiss Kobe crash photos lawsuit fails

Kobe Bryant helicopter crash site

CALABASAS, CA - JANUARY 26: Anthony Calderon, 33, from West Hills raises his arms in silence on the mountainside in Calabasas where a helicopter crashed one year ago killing Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others. Several fans of Kobe found ways to hike to the location Tuesday morning on the one year anniversary. Calabasas on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021 in Calabasas, CA. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

LOS ANGELES — Lawyers for Los Angeles County have failed to persuade a federal judge to end Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit over gruesome photos of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, Kobe Bryant, her daughter Gianna and seven others.

U.S. District Judge John F. Walter on Wednesday rejected a county motion that would have dismissed the case, saying that “there are genuine issues of material facts for trial,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit claims she and her family suffered emotional distress after a Times investigation found that county sheriff’s deputies took photos of the January 2020 crash scene and shared them. It came to light after a deputy showed cellphone images to patrons in a bar.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva quickly ordered deputies to delete the images. Later, it was learned that a county fire captain showed images to off-duty firefighters

In seeking the summary judgment to dismiss the case, the county’s attorneys wrote that the photos have never been in the media, on the internet or otherwise publicly disseminated and that the lawsuit is speculative.

After the ruling, county attorney Skip Miller said that “we respectfully disagree with the court’s ruling.”