“This is the photos case, but there are no photos,” stated LA County’s lawyer Mira Hashmall.
LOS ANGELES (CN) — After two weeks, the civil trial over images taken and shared by first responders to the helicopter crash that took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and 7 others has gone to the jury.
On Wednesday, the lawyer for Los Angeles County, sued by Vanessa Bryant and Christopher Chester, who misplaced his spouse and daughter in the crash, gave her closing arguments.
“This is the photos case, but there are no photos,” stated lawyer Mira Hashmall, a chorus she made time and again throughout her remarks. She was referring to the proven fact that the images in query have by no means been printed, and have all been deleted — a minimum of the ones we learn about. They could not even be admitted into proof.
The two events are at odds over what the photos contained, why they had been taken, why they had been shared, and why they had been deleted. Were they, as the plaintiffs contend, morsels of Digital gossip? Part of some macabre pastime? Or had been they, as the county has argued, a part of the work of preserving an accident scene and figuring out victims?
The jury will now determine whether or not Bryant and Chester’s constitutional rights had been violated when first responders took and shared photos of the stays of their spouses and daughters. Their rights are deemed to be violated if the photos had been “publicly disseminated.” The 9 jurors may have to determine if that occurred when LA County Sheriff’s Deputy Joey Cruz confirmed crash site photos to a bartender in Norwalk, in addition to to his niece, or if it occurred when LA County Fire Capt. Tony Imbrenda confirmed photos to fireplace officers and their wives and girlfriends at an awards present.
To win, the plaintiffs will need to have confirmed that their constitutional rights had been violated by both an absence of insurance policies or coaching on the a part of the sheriff’s division or the fireplace division, or if that violation occurred as a result of the proactive taking of crash site photos has change into commonplace.
Hashmall argued Wednesday the actions of Cruz and Imbrenda had been errors, and inconsistent with the insurance policies of their respective departments, however not violations of constitutional rights.
“Joey Cruz made a mistake,” Hashmall stated. “It was not OK. But did it shock the conscience?” She added: “The mistakes off a few personnel is not the basis for millions and millions of dollars against the county.”
On Tuesday, Chester’s lawyer Jerome Jackson requested the jury for an award of $75 million break up between Chester and Bryant. On Wednesday, Hashmall reminded the jurors: “Damages cannot be about punishment or wanting to send a message. It can’t be about revenge.”
She additionally struck at what some would possibly view as a contradiction in the plaintiffs’ case — that they’re “haunted” by the chance of the photos being made public, but the very public trial, lined extensively by the Media, solely served to publicize descriptions of the crash, which in accordance to testimony left the victims’ our bodies badly mangled to the level the place they had been troublesome to establish.
In his rebuttal, Bryant’s lawyer Luis Li defended his consumer’s motives behind the swimsuit.
“Mrs. Bryant has never once asked for a specific dollar amount,” Li informed the jury. “She has always wanted accountability and justice for Gigi and Kobe.” He added that no matter damages the jury selected to award, it might “shine a light on Kobe and Gianna’s legacy.”
Because it’s a federal civil trial, the jury’s verdict should be unanimous.
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