Watch CBS News

Los Angeles County approves $2.5 million settlement for two families over Kobe Bryant crash photos

Settlement reached in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash
Kobe Bryant crash: Settlement reached with helicopter company linked to deadly accident 00:30

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $2.5 million settlement on Tuesday for two families who said law enforcement officials improperly shared photos of the accident scene from the January 2020 helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others, CBS Los Angeles reported. The settlement, which now awaits court approval, does not cover a separate lawsuit filed by Bryant's wife Vanessa. 

The board approved two payments of $1.25 million each for the Altobelli and Mauser families, both of which had relatives who died in the crash, following a recommendation from county counsel Rodrigo Castro-Silva. John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their daughter Alyssa were all killed, as was Christina Mauser. 

Kobe Bryant Memorial at L.A. Live
Crews behind a screened fence remove Kobe Bryant's memorial at L.A. Live on Monday, February 3, 2020 as a few scattered items are left in front of Staples Center. MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-Ne

Altobelli and Mauser's families filed two separate lawsuits, saying that the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and Fire Department "improperly took and shared photos of the crash site, including photos that depicted the remains of their loved ones," Castro-Silva said in his recommendation. 

Los Angeles County has already spent just under $1.3 million in fees and legal costs to date on the two cases, he said. He called on the approval of the settlement to "avoid further litigation costs."

Bryant's wife Vanessa filed her own lawsuit over the images. A federal judge in March ruled that Vanessa could obtain the deputies's names who allegedly shared the photos, and she later filed an amended lawsuit publicly naming the four she claimed were involved. The lawsuit is ongoing. 

Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that makes it a misdemeanor for first responders to capture or share pictures of dead bodies for reasons other than official purposes. 

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.