The lawsuit, filed against LA County in federal court in September 2020, requires undisclosed damages claiming civil rights violations, negligence, emotional distress and invasion of privacy.
But according to court documents filed Monday, Judge Charles F. Eick rejected the Los Angeles County’s request on Oct. 15 on the grounds that a psychiatric evaluation would be “untimely.”
Skip Miller, partner at Miller Barondess Law Firm and external attorney for LA County, said: “The fact remains that no photos from the crash site taken by first aiders have ever been publicly disseminated, as Ms. Bryant confirmed in her statement. We fully sympathize. with the enormous loss she has suffered. But legally we do not think she can be harmed by something that has not happened. “
The trial is set to begin in February 2022.
According to court documents, LA County had argued that a “central tenet” in its defense would be that the “serious emotional and mental harm was not caused by any of the defendant’s conduct, but rather by the tragic helicopter crash and consequent deaths of their loved ones. . “
The county claimed the plaintiffs “do not like distress because of photos from the crash site that they have never seen and that were never made public.” The county argued that the medical examinations would help evaluate the “existence, extent and cause” of the plaintiffs’ “alleged injury”.
Contrary to the investigations, attorneys for Bryant and the other plaintiffs said that a “complaint merely seeking compensation for emotional distress does not place a party’s mental state ‘in controversy’.” They added that the county should work to evaluate emotional stress by “less intrusive means.”
CNN’s Amanda Watts and Dakin Andone contributed to this report.