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.
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 Marchthat 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.
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