On Thursday, a federal jury determined that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s and Fire departments had violated the constitutional rights of the widow and co-plaintiff of Kobe Bryant by collecting and publishing graphic images of the January 2020 helicopter accident that claimed the lives of nine persons. The jury awarded $31 million in damages to the plaintiffs. The jury also determined that the department members’ actions violated the county’s open records laws. The verdict awarded the woman $16 million in damages.
Christopher Chester was given a $15 million payout, while Vanessa Bryant received a $16 million settlement.
Vanessa Bryant expressed her fury after winning her case against Los Angeles County for publishing pictures of the accident scene involving her deceased husband Kobe Bryant and her daughter Gianna Bryant without their permission.
Vanessa Bryant thinks that “fairness” has been served after she prevailed in her legal battle against Los Angeles County.
The jury decided that the county’s fire and sheriff’s departments violated the 40-year-privacy
Vanessa commented on the legal triumph on Instagram soon after making the decision. She published an image of herself with Gianna and Kobe “Totally for you! I cherish you. Kobe and Gigi deserve JUSTICE!”
Vanessa, also the mother of Natalia, 19, Bianka, 5, and Capri, 3, noted that the judgment was delivered on what the city of Los Angeles had earlier called “Kobe Bryant Day.” (The day was instituted in 2016 to tribute Kobe’s two Lakers uniform numbers.)
Chris Chester, Vanessa’s co-plaintiff, received $15 million in damages as part of the jury’s decision. In the collision, along with Kobe and Gianna, his wife Sarah and daughter Payton, age 13, also perished.
Vanessa and Chris testified in court about their reactions after discovering that they had sent images of the accident site’s human remains to first responders. Vanessa described how she left the house to cry to the jury and said, “I just felt like I wanted to go down the block and shout.”
Vanessa claimed she launched her complaint against the county because she “needed answers” and described herself as having been “blindsided, saddened, hurt and betrayed” by the discovery of the photographs.
She said she never wanted her children to view the photographs and stated, “I live in terror daily. Your only concern is safeguarding your children.
The case’s primary outside attorney, Mira Hashmall, told our news correspondent in a statement following the judgment, “We appreciate the jury’s diligent work in this case. Although we disagree with the jury’s conclusions about the County’s guilt, the monetary judgment demonstrates that the jurors did not think the evidence justified the Plaintiffs’ demand of $75 million for emotional anguish.”
“In the meanwhile, we pray the Bryant and Chester families to continue to grieve from their devastating loss,” Hashmall continued.
According to a statement from Li, Bryant plans to donate the winnings to her organization, the Mamba and Mambacita Foundation, which she founded in honor of Gianna and Kobe, to “shine a light” on their legacy.
“Mrs. Bryant hopes that this significant civil rights complaint will end this abominable and insensitive behavior,” he stated.