Jury awards Vanessa Bryant $16M in lawsuit over Kobe crash photos

New York Post

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A federal jury has found that Los Angeles County must pay Vanessa Bryant $16 million dollars after first responders snapped and shared grisly photos of the fatal 2020 helicopter crash that killed her husband, 13-year old daughter and seven others.

The panel of nine jurors agreed that deputies and firefighters invaded the privacy of Kobe Bryant’s widow and brought her emotional distress by taking photos of the remains of the NBA star and his daughter Gianna.

Vanessa Bryant, 40, wept quietly as the verdict was read following 4 1/2 hurs of jury deliberation, and walked out of court holding the hand of her 19-year-old daughter Natalia.

After leaving court Wednesday, Bryant posted a picture to Instagram of her posing with her late husband — known on the hardwood as the Black Mamba — and daughter.

“All for you! I love you! JUSTICE for Kobe and Gigi! #Betonyourself #MambaDay 8•24•22 #MambaMentality,” the caption read, accompanied by a series of hearts.

The jurors also awarded $15 million to plaintiff Chris Chester, who lost his wife Sarah and daughter Payton in the Calabasas, California wreck.

Jurors unanimously found that the LA County Sheriff’s Department violated the constitutional rights of Bryant and Chester when they failed to train their employees on accident scene picture-sharing protocol.

During closing statements earlier Wednesday — the 11th day of the trial — county defense attorneys argued there wasn’t enough evidence to prove first responders shared the crash-site photos with the public.

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