Last year, Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit against L.A. County (including the police and fire departments) for taking and sharing photos of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, Kobe, and her 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
If she wins, Vanessa could be awarded tens of millions of dollars for claims of negligence, emotional distress, and violation of privacy.
Unfortunately, the county hasn't been making things easy for her. As the ongoing battle rages on, LA County is now trying to get Vanessa and her family to submit to a psychiatric exam, according to CNN.
Los Angeles County wants to compel the widow of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and others involved in a lawsuit over leaked photos of the helicopter crash that killed him, their daughter and seven others to take psychiatric exams before the case goes to trial, court filings show.
A "central tenet" of the county's defense is the "severe emotional and mental injuries were not caused by any conduct of Defendants, but rather by the tragic helicopter crash and resulting deaths of their loved ones," the court filing says. The county argues the plaintiffs "cannot be suffering distress from accident site photos that they have never seen and that were never publicly disseminated."
Bryant's attorneys are obviously fighting against the examinations,
"A complaint that merely claims damages for emotional distress does not place a party's mental condition 'in controversy.'
It does not take an expert -- and it certainly does not take an involuntary eight-hour psychiatric examination -- for a jury to assess the nature and extent of the emotional distress caused by Defendants' misconduct," attorneys for Bryant said.
According to Vanessa, public officials who were there to help ended up taking their own photos of the crash and sharing them in ways unrelated to the investigation.
Despite the pushback from the county, public support has been high for the Bryant family in the aftermath of their devastating loss.
Kobe, who played for 20 years in the NBA, was recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was 41 years old.