In Breakthrough Case, Judge Rules Maid Can Sue Kobe Bryant for “Personal Insult”

Sunday, September 27, 2009
Kobe and Vanessa Bryant

While throwing out part of the lawsuit, a California judge recently ruled that Kobe Bryant’s former housekeeper can continue her case on grounds of “personal insult” to which Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, subjected Maria Jimenez. Orange County Superior Court Judge Kirk Nakamura threw out Jimenez’s claims of invasion of privacy and emotional distress, but did indicate she might have a case of wrongful termination based on Civil Code Section 43, which states “every person has ... the right of protection from bodily restraint or harm, from personal insult, from defamation, and from injury to his personal relations.” Nakamura concluded that the section applied because of its “public policy” exception, in that “Ms. Jimenez’s assertion of her right potentially benefits all domestic workers who are subject to abusive actions by their employers.”

Jimenez alleges Vanessa Bryant subjected her to a “continuing pattern” of verbal abuse and demeaning behavior. In addition to repeated insults, Jimenez claims “Vanessa demanded that Maria put her hand in a bag of dog feces” to retrieve a price tag for an expensive blouse she had mistakenly put in the washing machine, according to her lawsuit.
-         Noel Brinkerhoff
Ex-Maid Can Sue Kobe for Domestic Worker Rights (by Matthew Heller, On Point News)
Jimenez v. Bryant (California Superior Court) (PDF)


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