Vanessa Bryant Settles Lawsuit Over Helicopter Crash Photos for $28.85 Million
Los Angeles County agreed to pay Vanessa Bryant and her three daughters a $28.85 million settlement 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 Bryant, their 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others, according to a filing on Tuesday, per the New York Times.
The settlement includes the $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. The settlement is reportedly still subject to court approval.
Vanessa Bryant filed her lawsuit eight months after the horrific crash, 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.
Chester was also awarded $15 million, in addition to $4.95 million to settle any future claims. In total, the county settled more than $51 million over the photo lawsuit, including $1.25 million each in October 2021 for two other families that lost loved ones in the same helicopter crash.
Bryant has previously pledged to donate proceeds from the lawsuit to Mamba & Mambacita Sports, the foundation dedicated to Kobe and Gianna Bryant.
“Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct,” Luis Li, Bryant’s lawyer, said in a statement, per NYT. “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.”
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