LA County to pay $2.5M to two families, settling Kobe Bryant crash photo suits

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LA County to pay $2.5M to two families, settling Kobe Bryant crash photo suits

Los Angeles County on Tuesday approved a payout of $2.5 million to settle two lawsuits filed by families who lost relatives in the helicopter crash that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others.

The lawsuits, from the Altobelli and Mauser families, allege they suffered emotional distress over graphic photos of the January 2020 wreck reportedly shared by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy and a firefighter.

Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s widow, has filed a similar lawsuit and the case is scheduled to go to trial in February.

The $2.5 million settlement still needs to be approved by a judge.

Under the deal, Matthew Mauser, whose wife was killed in the crash in the Calabasas hills, would receive $1.25 million.

Siblings J.J. Altobelli and Alexis Altobelli, who lost their parents and 14-year-old sister, would get the other half.

Christina Mauser, left.
Matthew Mauser will receive $1.25 million from Los Angeles County following the death of his wife, Christina Mauser.
Twitter
John and Keri Altobelli
John and Keri Altobelli along with their 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa, were among the victims of the deadly helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
Facebook

Skip Miller, an attorney representing the county, called the settlements “reasonable and fair to all concerned.”

“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.

“We also hope that eventually the other families will be able to do the same.”

Vanessa Bryant speaks during a celebration of life ceremony for Kobe and Gianna Bryant at the Staples Center on February 24, 2020
Vanessa Bryant speaks during a celebration of life ceremony for Kobe and Gianna Bryant at the Staples Center on February 24, 2020
AP
Vanessa and Kobe Bryant.
Vanessa Bryant said she fears possible graphic photos of Kobe and Gianna from the helicopter crash being leaked online.
AFP via Getty Images
Kobe Bryant with his daughter Gianna at the WNBA All Star Game in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 27, 2019.
Kobe Bryant with his daughter Gianna at the WNBA All Star Game in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 27, 2019.
USA TODAY Sports

The images in question, which haven’t been made public, were shared by a firefighter with a group of off-duty colleagues and by a deputy trainee with bar patrons, according to the lawsuits.

Vanessa Bryant said in a deposition that “for the rest of my life I’m going to have to fear that these photographs of my husband and child will be leaked.”

LA county firefighters clear up the fire from the deadly helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on January 26, 2020.
LA county firefighters clear up the fire from the deadly helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on January 26, 2020.
REUTERS
Authorities collect evidence at the scene of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others in Calabasas, California on Jan. 27, 2020.
Authorities collect evidence at the scene of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others in Calabasas, California on Jan. 27, 2020.
AP

With Post wires

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