Vanessa Bryant settled her final claims with Los Angeles County after they leaked photos of the 2020 helicopter crash that left her husband and 13-year-old daughter dead.
In August, a jury found the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and Fire Department (LAFD) guilty of sharing private photos of the helicopter crash, including deceased bodies. Vanessa Bryant argued that this was an invasion of privacy and added unnecessary emotional distress, fearing that any day leaked photos of her loved ones could surface to the public.
“The close-up photos of Gianna and Kobe’s remains were passed around on at least twenty-eight LASD devices and by at least a dozen firefighters,” her attorney, Luis Li, documented when the lawsuit was initially filed. “The gratuitous sharing continued in the following days and weeks and included such outrageous conduct as flaunting the photos in a bar while pantomiming dismemberment and showing off the photos over cocktails at an awards gala.”
“I live in fear every day of seeing on social media and having these images pop up,” Vanessa testified in court during the August trial. “I don’t ever want to see these photographs. I want to remember them as they were.”
As of this week, Bryant is expected to receive nearly $29 million in an agreement with Los Angeles County to resolve the lawsuit, which includes the $15 million a jury already granted her in August. The mother’s co-plaintiff Christopher Chester—whose wife and daughter was killed in the crash— also won $19,950,000 in Tuesday’s agreement.
Los Angeles County lawyer discusses verdict following Vanessa Bryant lawsuit.
“The $28,850,000 settlement includes the verdict awarded by the federal jury in August 2022 and further resolves all outstanding issues related to pending legal claims in state court, future claims by the Bryant children, and other costs, with each party responsible for its respective attorneys’ fees,” Los Angeles County’s head lawyer shared in a statement following the verdict.
Additionally, Bryant’s lawyer shared a statement following the settlement. Celebrating the widow’s bravery, he expressed the sentiments, “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,” the legal representative continued.
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