Judge in Kobe Bryant case throws out part of maid’s lawsuit

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Personal Injury News

Article Date: 9/18/2009 | Resource: MLG

Judge in Kobe Bryant case throws out part of maid’s lawsuit

“Maria Jimenez alleges Laker star’s wife verbally harassed her. Bryants are countersuing.”

An Orange County Superior Court judge today pared down a lawsuit brought by a former maid against Kobe and Vanessa Bryant, throwing out her allegations of emotional distress and invasion of privacy.

But the same judge also ruled that Maria Jimenez – who worked as a full-time housekeeper at the Bryant’s Newport Coast home from September 2007 to March 22, 2008 – can pursue a wrongful discharge claim against the celebrity couple.

Jimenez sued the celebrity couple in March. She alleged the Los Angeles Laker star’s wife “badgered, harassed and humiliated’’ her and also did not provide her with health insurance or pay her overtime.

Superior Court Judge Kirk H. Nakamura ruled Jimenez does not have the grounds to sue for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The judge called the claim “superfluous” because Jimenez already seeks emotional distress damages under a wrongful termination argument.

Nakumura also said the Bryants’ conduct did not violate a basic duty imposed by law on all employers.

“Here, plaintiff alleges that she was subjected to abuse and humiliation by Vanessa Bryant during her employment,’’ the judge also wrote. “This type of behavior is, unfortunately, part of many types of employment, and is to be expected as a risk inherent in the employment relationship.’’

The ex-maid also alleged Vanessa Bryant violated her privacy by watching her on video surveillance cameras when she was changing her blouse in a bathroom. But Nakamura dismissed that argument, given that Jimenez had known there were cameras in the house.

The judge also affirmed the countersuit filed by the Bryants, who say Jimenez broke a confidentiality agreement by speaking publicly about her lawsuit.

Jimenez, nor the Bryants, attended the brief hearing today. A trial date was set for April 12.

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Jeffrey Marquart