Kobe Bryant Death: Jury Awards $31 Million Damages Over Crash Pics
Los Angeles County must pay $31 million in damages to widow Kobe Bryant and a co-plaintiff for graphic photos taken at the site of a helicopter crash that killed the basketball star and eight others. , a grand jury ordered Wednesday. The sheriff and firefighters who rushed to the scene of the crash in January 2020 captured photos of the carnage, including the remains of the Los Angeles Lakers legend and his 13-year-old daughter yours, Gianna. A Los Angeles court heard how some first responders showed everyone the photos – including a bartender – while a deputy texted a friend as the pair played a game. play game.
Vanessa Bryant and Chris Chester, whose wife, Sarah and daughter, Payton, also died in the crash, have sued for emotional damages over photos they say they fear will one day come out. appear on the internet.
The civil grand jury ordered the county to pay $16 million to Bryant, and $15 million to Chester, after deliberating just a few hours.
The award represents redress for past and future suffering.
Bryant cried while the verdict was read and left the courthouse without speaking to waiting reporters.
She then posted a photo on Instagram of herself with her late husband and daughter, with the caption: “All because of you! I love you! JUST for Kobe and Gigi!”
Chester’s attorney on Tuesday appealed for $1 million for each of the plaintiffs’ projected life years, which amounts to $40 million for 40-year-old Bryant and $30 million for 48-year-old Chester.
“You can’t give too much money for what they’ve been through,” said attorney Jerry Jackson.
Bryant’s attorney Craig Lavoie said he was demanding “justice and accountability” for the basketball great – a hero of the city of Los Angeles – and his widow.
“We’re here for intentional conduct. Intentional conduct by those charged with upholding the dignity of Sarah and Payton, as well as Kobe and Gianna.”
“The county violated the constitutional rights of Ms. Bryant and Mr. Chester,” Lavoie said, asking the grand jury to hold the county accountable for “employees’ constitutional violations.”
For the county, Mira Hashmall said that although the employees broke the privacy policies, Bryant and Chester’s privacy was not violated because the photos were never in the public domain.
“This is a case with photos, but no photos,” she told jurors earlier. “There is one simple truth that cannot be ignored – there is no overt popularity.”
Following the ruling, Hashmall said she and fellow attorneys will consult with the county on “next steps.”
“In the meantime, we hope the Bryant and Chester family continues to heal after their tragic loss,” a statement said.
Relatives of other victims of last year’s crash were awarded a total of $2.5 million in compensation for taking pictures.
The jury’s order comes as Los Angeles celebrates “Mamba Day” on August 24, the two numbers Kobe Bryant has worn in more than 20 years of professional play.
An investigation into the crash found that the pilot may have been disoriented after flying the Sikorsky S-76 into fog as he drove his passengers to a women’s basketball tournament in nearby Thousand Oaks. there.
Kobe Bryant is widely recognized as one of the greatest basketball players ever, a figure who has become the face of his sport during two glittering decades with Los Angeles Lakers.
He was a five-time NBA champion in a career that began in 1996 shortly after graduating from high school and lasted until his retirement in 2016.
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