MALIBU (CBSLA.com) — Caitlyn Jenner is now blaming the paparazzi for a deadly four-car crash on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu last year.
The 66-year-old says photographers were driving recklessly and tailgating her, leaving her “visually distracted,” according to the cross-complaint (PDF) filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last Friday.
Jenner says the reckless driving by the paparazzi contributed to the rear-end crash that pushed another car into oncoming traffic. The driver of that car, Kim Howe, was killed when an SUV hit her car.
Jenner was cleared of criminal charges in the crash. She also settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Howe’s family.
CBS2’s Amber Lee spoke to personal injury attorney Reid Brietman to see if Jenner’s claim has any legal merit.
“Well, this is a really interesting case. You may recall that the issue of paparazzi chasing celebrities and causing accidents and dangerous conditions has been discussed since the death of Princess Diana,” Brietman said.
He believes Jenner can use the anti-stalking law in her favor.
“She is saying, basically, look, if I’m liable at all for the damages that the plaintiff suffered, than the court should make a fair portion between what I have to pay and what these paparazzi and their employers have to pay,” the attorney said.
Brietman told Lee that Jenner would only have to show that the photogs were reckless in trying to get her picture.
“California’s anti paparazzi law is definitely going to play a factor in this case. That law makes it a crime for a paparazzi to drive reckless in pursuit of an image,” Brietman said.
A lawyer representing one of the photographers named in the suit, send CBSLA the following statement:
“It’s unfortunate that Ms. Jenner does not simply take responsibility for her actions instead of trying to cast blame on innocent parties for this unfortunate accident which caused death and serious injury,” wrote Jeff Estes in a statement.