The Bryant’s family gets $29 million settlement in case over photos.
Vanessa Bryant wins $28.5m payout over Kobe helicopter crash photos
Vanessa Bryant settles claims with LA County for nearly $29 million in helicopter crash lawsuit.
According to New York Times, Vanessa Bryant has agreed to accept a $28.85 million settlement from Los Angeles County in exchange for ending a lawsuit over the sharing of graphic photos of the Jan. 2020 helicopter crash that killed her husband NBA star Kobe Bean Bryant, their 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others.
In the settlement includes, $15 million judgment she won against the county in August last year, which was originally $16 million and later reduced by $1 million due to a clerical error, per the report, and resolves all pending litigation and potential claims from Bryant and her three daughters.
“Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct,” her attorney, Luis Li, said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”
Vanessa Bryant filed her underlying lawsuit eight months after the horrific helicopter, saying she suffered severe emotional distress when she learned that multiple first responders had snapped and shared unauthorized photos of the crash scene using their personal devices. Her claim was later consolidated with a similar suit from Chris Chester, an Orange County financial adviser who lost his wife Sarah, 45, and the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, Payton, in the tragedy.
“January 26, 2020, was and always will be the worst day of Vanessa Bryant’s life,” Li told the 10-member jury selected earlier Wednesday to hear the expected 10-day trial for the the grieving widow’s invasion of privacy lawsuit against Los Angeles County. “County employees exploited the accident. They took and shared pictures of Kobe and Gianna as souvenirs. …They poured salt in an unhealable wound.”
The lawyer, Luis Li said that first responders, including fire officials, “walked around the wreckage and took pictures of broken bodies from the helicopter crash. They took close-ups of limbs, of burnt flesh. It shocks the conscience.” He played audio of one detective admitting that his own wife declined to view the photos after he described them as “piles of meat.”
Vanessa Bryant filed her lawsuit eight months after the horrific 2020 crash.