LA County Will Pay $2.5 Million To 2 Families Of Victims In Helicopter Crash That Also Killed Kobe Bryant
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors today approved a $2.5 million settlement with two families whose loved ones died in the Jan. 26, 2020 crash that also killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and 3 others.
The families sued the county over photos taken at the scene of the crash and then shared by first responders. Michael Mauser and J.J. and Alyssa Altobelli alleged that their constitutional right to control the images of their deceased family members were violated, along with their rights to privacy, when it became known that photos were shared by deputies and firefighters.
The settlement will be paid out of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and L.A. County Fire Department budgets.
Michael Mauser, who lost his wife Christina, will receive $1.25 million. J.J. Altobelli and his sister Alexis Altobelli, who lost their parents, Keri and John, and their sister Alyssa, will receive the same amount.
The county was represented the lawsuit by attorney Skip Miller who said in a statement that the “settlements of $1.25 million are 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.”
John Altobelli was the head baseball coach Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. His wife, Keri, and confirmed that its head baseball coach, He was aboard the helicopter his wife, Keri, and their 14-year-daughter, Alyssa, who was a teammate of Gianna Bryant's on the Los Angeles Lady Mambas basketball team.
Family members of Sarah Chester and her daughter, Peyton, who were also killed in the crash, filed a similar lawsuit in December. Vanessa Bryant has also filed suit over the photos taken of her husband, Kobe, and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and Fire Chief Daryl Osby were recently ordered by a federal judge to give depositions, which they had sought to avoid.