- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Vanessa Bryant's and Los Angeles County's legal teams were unable to settle in December.
Her suit against county staff accused of sharing photos from Kobe's crash is set to go to trial.
Bryant's team wants the people who reported the display of photos in public to testify.
Vanessa Bryant wants the private citizens who alleged photos were shared in public of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, and seven others to testify at a February trial, according to court documents.
The private-citizen complaints were made to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles County Fire Department and alleged that personnel from those departments shared photos of the crash site to people at a bar and others at an award ceremony.
In September 2020, Vanessa Bryant sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the county's fire department, the county, and eight officers in the wake of reports that first responders took and shared photos of the January 2020 crash site. Bryant accused the first responders of "negligence" and "intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of her right to privacy." She is suing for undisclosed damages.
In a series of court filings on Tuesday, Bryant's attorney and the county legal teams said that after meetings, they were unable to reach a settlement. A three-day trial — which her team has said is too short — is set to begin on February 22. Earlier this month, a federal judge rejected Los Angeles County's move to throw out the lawsuit.
On Tuesday, Bryant's attorneys proposed a witness list for the trial, which included some of the more than 30 Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department staff who have been deposed under oath in the case.
Bryant's attorney also moved to ask the court to admit the eyewitness testimony of Ralph Mendez Jr. and Luella Weireter, the two private citizens who submitted complaints alleging Kobe Bryant's helicopter crash photos were being shown in public.
"The testimony relates to, respectively, (1) the conduct and statements of Defendant Joey Cruz on the evening he displayed victims' remains photos to a bar patron and bartender Victor Gutierrez; and (2) the statements of attendees at the Golden Mike awards who were present at the time Tony Imbrenda showed off photos of the victims' remains," Bryant's attorney Luis Li wrote in a filing.
Joey Cruz, a former deputy trainee at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, is accused of showing crash-site photos to Victor Gutierrez, a bartender, as well as to Ralph Mendez Jr., another person at the bar, two days after the crash, according to the lawsuit.
Bryant's suit also alleged that Tony Imbrenda, a former Los Angeles County Fire Department public information officer, referenced and showed the photos less than a month after the crash at the 2020 Golden Mike awards, which Weireter attended.
The county objected to the requests, saying, "Neither Mendez nor Weireter has seen any crash site photos."
"They either 'overheard' something from 20 feet away or were told by someone what they had been told by someone else. That is not proper evidence," Los Angeles County attorneys wrote.
Attorneys for Bryant and Los Angeles County could not immediately be reached for comment.
Read the original article on Insider