Vanessa Bryant Reaches $29M Settlement With Los Angeles County In Lawsuit Over Kobe Bryant Crash Photos
On Sunday, January 26, 2020, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among the nine people on board the helicopter that crashed and left no survivors in Calabasas, California.
While this already is the most heartbreaking thing that can happen to a mother and wife, Vanessa Bryant additionally had to live “in fear” of photos of the tragedy going viral.
Back then, photos of the crash were shared by county fire and sheriff’s department employees, which resulted in a lawsuit against Los Angeles County over Vanessa Bryant’s invasion of privacy.
Last August, Bryant’s trial led to a jury ordering Los Angeles County to pay Vanessa Bryant, and a joint plaintiff $31 million in damages for the graphic photos sheriff’s deputies and firefighters took.
Per L.A. Times:
A jury ordered Los Angeles County to pay Vanessa Bryant, widow of Lakers star Kobe Bryant, and another man $31 million in damages for the graphic photos sheriff’s deputies and firefighters took of the 2020 helicopter crash scene that killed Bryant, his daughter, and seven others.
In reaching the verdict after only a few hours of deliberations, jurors made it clear they had been persuaded by attorneys for Bryant and Chris Chester, who argued that illicit photos of the crash victims’ bodies had violated their clients’ right to privacy and inflicted emotional distress. Chester lost his wife, Sarah, and daughter, Payton, in the crash.
Now, half a year later, Vanessa Bryant has officially reached a nearly $29 million agreement with Los Angeles County to settle the lawsuit.
One of Bryant’s attorneys Luis Lu, shared a statement with CNN:
“Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct. She fought for her husband, her daughter, and all those in the community whose deceased family were treated with similar disrespect. We hope her victory at trial and this settlement will put an end to this practice.”