“Plaintiff has waived her psychotherapist-patient privilege by placing into controversy the reportedly extraordinary, continuing emotional distress allegedly resulting from Defendants’ photograph-related actions or inactions,” Eick wrote in his decision.

In her deposition testimony, Vanessa agreed with Skip Miller, counsel representing the county in the lawsuit, when he said he really wished he didn’t have to be asking her to relive that horrible day.

“This is going to upset me,” Vanessa declared. “I don’t want to talk about this. I shouldn’t be talking about this. If there weren’t any photographs to begin with, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Asked what “emotional distress” meant to her in this case, she explained, “Not only do I have to grieve to the loss of my husband and child, but for the rest of my life I’m going to have to fear that these photographs of my husband and child will be leaked. And I do not want my little girls or I to ever have to see their remains in that matter. Nor do I think it’s right that the photographs were taken in the first place because it’s already tough enough that I have to experience this heartache and this loss. But now to live the rest of my life having to fear those photographs surfacing is something that I have to deal with every single day.”

Asked if she’d ever experienced “anything close” to how this made her feel, Vanessa replied, “Nothing compares. Nothing’s close to this. I
lost my husband and child. That was the worst thing imaginable.”

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