Los Angeles County is accusing Vanessa Bryant of conducting a fishing expedition that’s taking first responders away from their jobs and subjecting them to harassment.
Kobe’s widow filed a lawsuit against the county for negligence and invasion of privacy, accusing county sheriff and fire department employees of improperly sharing photos from the 2020 helicopter crash that killed her husband, daughter Gianna, and seven other people. In response, L.A. County is suggesting in a new court filing this week that Bryant is going too far in her search for information.
“This straightforward case, with undisputed facts, has turned into a fishing expedition that is taking first responders away from their jobs — and subjecting them to public harassment and threats,” a filing submitted in federal court said, according to USA Today. “Defendants are eager to have their day in Court and put an end to this.”
Attorneys for the county claim Bryant is taking a “scorched earth” approach to obtaining information over the crash and her lawsuit is seeking the deputy defendants and “make an example of them to the community" after she said they shared photos of the victims’ remains "without any legitimate governmental purpose."
Additionally, Bryant has asked the court to extend the cutoff date for the discovery of evidence in the case. She’s petitioned to extend that deadline from August to February. The county says there’s no basis for an extension.
“Plaintiff has dedicated countless hours to meaningless discovery disputes and posting recklessly about the Defendants on social media—all while taking the position that her 50 depositions cannot begin until she has every single document in the County’s possession,” the filing stated. “That is not diligence. There is no basis for modifying the scheduling order.”
Vanessa Bryant filed an initial lawsuit last year, but amended it in March to include the names of four sheriff’s deputies she claims shared photos of the accident. She then posted the names on Instagram and highlighted them with a red box drawn around them.
L.A. County said Bryant has served 126 RFPS (or requests for production) and that the county defendants have completed seven document productions containing 29,941 pages.