5 Things To Know About Vanessa Bryant’s Lawsuit Over Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash Photos

The jury deliberated for four and a half hours before reaching a verdict.

Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Kobe Bryant, leaves a federal courthouse in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022.

A federal jury has found that Los Angeles County must pay Kobe Bryant's widow $16 million over photos of the NBA star's body at the site of the 2020 helicopter crash that killed him.

Photo by: Jae C. Hong via Associated Press

Jae C. Hong via Associated Press

Los Angeles County must pay Vanessa Bryant, Kobe Bryant’s widow, $16 million for emotional distress, according to NPR.

On Aug. 24, 2022, a jury voted unanimously that both police and firefighters, who shared crash scene photos from the 2020 helicopter crash that killed nine people, brought distress to the victims’ families and invaded their privacy.

Here are five things to know about the trial.

A co-plaintiff was awarded $15 million.

Christopher Chester was awarded $15 million, alongside $16 million for Vanessa Bryant, according to CNN.

Chester’s wife, Sarah, and his daughter, Payton, were also aboard the helicopter that crashed, killing all passengers on board.

Bryant and Chester initially sued for $75 million, while the defense argued rights weren’t violated.

Attorneys for Los Angeles County argued the trial was a “pictures case with no pictures,” because the photos of human remains were never seen by the public or the plaintiffs, reporting by CNN revealed.

After the verdict, Mira Hashmall, who led outside counsel for LA County, released a statement:

“While we disagree with the jury’s findings as to the County’s liability, we believe the monetary award shows that jurors didn’t believe the evidence supported the Plaintiffs’ request of $75 million for emotional distress,” Hashmall wrote. “We will be discussing next steps with our client. Meanwhile, we hope the Bryant and Chester families continue to heal from their tragic loss.”

The verdict was read on “Kobe Bryant Day”.

According to NPR, the jury reached its verdict on August 24, which is ceremoniously known as Kobe Bryant Day. It’s celebrated on this day because it uses both of his jersey numbers — 8 and 24 — and is the day after his birthday.

California has a new law because of this incident.

In September 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the “Kobe Bryant Act,” which makes it illegal for first responders to share photos of a dead person at a crime scene, according to CNN. Violators could be charged up to $1,000 per violation.

A clerical error accidentally awarded Vanessa Bryant too much money.

According to Insider, the jury intended to award both plaintiffs, Vanessa Bryant and Christopher Chester, equally. Bryant, through her attorney, agreed to the changes.

The New York Post reported a large portion of the money will go to support the Mamba Sports Foundation, which provides funding for young athletes in underserved communities.

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