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Kobe Bryant widow awarded $16M in trial over crash photos

3 min read
Kobe Bryant widow awarded M in trial over crash photos

Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Kobe Bryant, leaves a federal courthouse in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. Kobe Bryant’s widow is using her lawsuit towards the Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire departments to a federal jury, trying to get payment for pictures deputies shared of the remains of the NBA star, his daughter and seven other folks killed in a helicopter crash in 2020. (AP Image/Jae C. Hong)


Kobe Bryant’s widow was awarded $16 million as element of a $31 million jury verdict Wednesday in opposition to Los Angeles County for deputies and firefighters sharing grisly pics of the NBA star, his 13-calendar year-outdated daughter and other victims killed in a 2020 helicopter crash.

The nine jurors unanimously agreed with Vanessa Bryant and her lawyers that the pics invaded her privacy and prompted psychological distress. She cried quietly as it was study.

The jury deliberated 4 1/2 hrs ahead of achieving the verdict on Kobe Bryant Day, which is celebrated in LA on Aug. 24 due to the fact it represents his jersey quantities — 8 and 24 — and is the day after his birthday. Tuesday would have been Bryant’s 44th birthday.

An legal professional for the county declined comment on the verdict exterior the courtroom.

The pictures have been shared generally in between employees of the LA County sheriff’s and fireplace departments which include by some who ended up participating in video games and attending an awards banquet. They ended up also noticed by some of their spouses and in 1 case by a bartender at a bar the place a deputy was drinking.

Vanessa Bryant tearfully testified through the 11-working day demo that news of the photos compounded her however-uncooked grief a thirty day period just after getting rid of her spouse and daughter, and that she nevertheless has stress attacks at the believed that they could even now be out there.

“I reside in concern every single working day of remaining on social media and these popping up,” she testified. “I stay in concern of my daughters staying on social media and these popping up.”

Her co-plaintiff Chris Chester, whose wife and daughter ended up also among the nine people today killed in the crash, was awarded $15 million.

“We’re grateful for a jury and a choose who gave us a good trial,” mentioned Chester’s lawyer Jerry Jackson.

Vanessa Bryant’s attorneys did not give jurors a dollar volume they thought their client deserved, but Chester’s attorney gave them prompt pointers that would have intended tens of thousands and thousands for every plaintiff.

Vanessa Bryant and her legal professional declined remark outside the house court Wednesday. Her deal with was nevertheless streaked with tears as she walked earlier Television set cameras and dozens of reporters and climbed into an SUV.

Vanessa Bryant’s attorney Luis Li instructed jurors that the shut-up photos experienced no formal or investigative objective, and had been mere “visual gossip” shared out of a grotesque curiosity.

County lawyer J. Mira Hashmall argued throughout the demo that the shots were being a important device for examining the condition.

She acknowledged that they should not have been shared with every person who noticed them. But she emphasized that the pics had by no means appeared publicly, and had by no means even been seen by the plaintiffs. She explained that meant that Sheriff Alex Villanueva and other officials had taken decisive and effective action when they ordered people who experienced the images to delete them.

Kobe Bryant, the previous Lakers star, five-time NBA champion and member of the Basketball Corridor of Fame, was traveling with Gianna and 7 other individuals to a youth basketball recreation when the helicopter they were aboard crashed into hills in Calabasas west of Los Angeles on Jan. 26, 2020.

Federal protection officials blamed pilot error for the crash.

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