The two surviving members of the Altobelli family are suing Los Angeles County, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Alex Villanueva, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department over the sharing and dissemination of unauthorized photos taken at the fatal Kobe Bryant helicopter crash site.
In the complaint, obtained by The Blast, J.J. Altobelli and his sister, Alexis Altobelli claim Los Angeles Sheriff deputies and Los Angeles firefighters shared and disseminated unauthorized photos of human remains for “personal, non-law-enforcement purposes.”
The remains and personal effects were scattered across a wilderness area in Calabasas, California, within the territorial jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, giving them both the authority and duty to secure the accident scene.
Vanessa Bryant has filed a similar complaint about the tragic helicopter crash, killing her late husband, Kobe Bryant, and her daughter, Gianna Bryant. Vanessa is suing Ara Zobayan, the helicopter pilot in the fatal crash, as well as Los Angeles County, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and Los Angeles County Fire Department over the dissemination of unauthorized photos. The names of the county employees that were allegedly responsible for disseminating the crash scene photos were recently released to the public, and the Altobelli’s have also named these individuals in their complaint.
J.J. and Alexis Altobelli claim the Los Angeles County Sheriff, Alex Villanueva reassured the loved ones of those who perished that every possible measure would be taken to preserve and protect the scene of the crash, to protect the dignity of those who had perished and limit the mental and emotional suffering of loved ones they had left behind. The tragedy has generated widespread response, and the Altobelli’s claim Sheriff Villanueva should have known law enforcement personnel often take unauthorized pictures of accident victims.
J.J. and Alexis are suing for alleged intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and invasion of privacy with compensatory damages and punitive damages to punish the defendants named in their complaint.