Watch CBS News

LA County Considers $2.5M Settlement With 2 Families Over Kobe Bryant Crash Scene Photos

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors  next week will consider approving a $2.5-million settlement with two families who have filed lawsuits over the unauthorized sharing of photos of the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash in which their loved ones were killed.

NTSB Investigators Continue To Work On Site Of Kobe Bryant's Helicopter Crash
CALABASAS, CA - JANUARY 28: Investigators work at the scene of the helicopter crash, where former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died, on January 28, 2020 in Calabasas, California. Kobe and "Gigi" were among nine people were perished in the crash as they were flying to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where he was going to coach her in a tournament game. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

On Jan. 26, 2020, a helicopter carrying Lakers legend Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others crashed in heavy fog in Calabasas, killing all nine people aboard. Among those was 56-year-old John Altobelli, a longtime baseball coach at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, his 46-year-old wife Keri and their 13-year-old daughter Alyssa. Also aboard was 38-year-old Christina Mauser a wife, mother and basketball coach from Huntington Beach.

The families of Mauser and the Altobellis filed two separate lawsuits after learning several L.A. County Sheriff's deputies and L.A. County firefighters took and shared crash scene photos for purposes outside law enforcement.

Under the proposed settlement, Christina's husband Matthew Mauser would receive $1.25 million. Siblings J.J. Altobelli and Alexis Altobelli would share another $1.25 million, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

A report from the L.A. County Counsel recommended the settlement to "avoid further litigation costs," according to the Times.

Bryant's widow, Vanessa Bryant, filed her own federal lawsuit in September of 2020 against L.A. County over the crash scene photos. The lawsuit alleges there has been no accountability, no formal investigation and no disciplinary action against the deputies or firefighters.

In March, she filed an amended lawsuit which publicly named four of the involved deputies.

Bryant won a legal victory this week when L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby were ordered to be deposed in the case.

Also in September of 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that makes it a misdemeanor for first responders to take and share accident and crime scene photos for any purpose other than an official law enforcement purpose or a genuine public interest.

RELATED: Vanessa Bryant Learned Of Kobe, Gianna's Death Hours After Helicopter Crash; Asked LA Sheriff To Make Sure No Photos Were Taken

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.