Bryant crash photos trial: Retired LA County fire captain accuses ex-boss of perjury

A retired Los Angeles County fire captain, who says he followed orders and took photos of the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash scene in 2020 and was not compensated for legal expenses after being sued, has filed a proposed amended complaint against his former employer in which he accuses an ex-supervisor of perjury.

Former Capt. Brian Jordan was called to the stand last summer in the trial of the suit brought against the county by Vanessa Bryant and Irvine financial advisor Christopher Chester. He maintains he testified truthfully, but that his supervisor did not.

Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and Chester's wife, Sarah, and 13-year-old daughter, Payton, were among the nine people killed in the crash in Calabasas. The federal suit alleged that the plaintiffs' constitutional rights were violated by the alleged taking and sharing of gruesome photos of the scene by deputies and Fire Department members.

The federal jury in late August ordered the county to pay Vanessa Bryant and Chester collectively about $30 million. Jordan had been dismissed as a defendant in the Chester civil litigation in August 2021. Vanessa Bryant earlier this year reached a $28.85 million settlement in the case.

RELATED: Kobe Bryant lawsuit: Vanessa Bryant settles with LA County for nearly $30M over leaked crash scene photos

The 56-year-old Jordan maintains he took images of the Jan. 26, 2020, crash site after being ordered to do so by the supervisor, then ended up being sued and forced to pay for attorneys' fees and costs to defend himself in the ensuing civil litigation. He seeks nearly $60,000 in attorneys' fees and costs, plus other damages.

Jordan testified truthfully during the trial of the Bryant-Chester suit that his supervisor told him to "take lots of pictures" and the plaintiff obeyed, but the supervisor perjured himself when he took the stand by denying his order to Jordan, the amended suit filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges.

Jordan, who retired in January 2021, further alleges that the county paid for the supervisor's defense as well as that of other employees who were willing to lie during their testimony.


In their court papers, attorneys for the county maintain the county offered multiple times to defend Jordan in the Crash lawsuit, but he rejected the tender each time.

"He instead hired his own counsel and claimed that there was a conflict between the county's and his interests in the lawsuit," the county lawyers state in their court papers.

Jordan's amended complaint filing comes less than a week after Judge Stephanie M. Bowick heard arguments regarding the county's motion to dismiss all of Jordan's suit, but instead tossed only his causes of action for violation of the Government Claims Act and specific performance.

The judge ruled that Jordan's other two causes of action, for retaliation and violation of the state Labor Code, would need to be shored up. Bowick is scheduled to hear arguments June 28 regarding Jordan's retaliation claim, in which he alleges he was denied his retirement badge in a backlash for filing the lawsuit.