Aug 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jury awards Vanessa Bryant $16 million in lawsuit over crash scene photos

Vanessa Bryant is photographed at U.S. Federal Courthouse on Aug. 19, 2022, in Los Angeles, CA. Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A federal jury awarded $16 million in damages to Vanessa Bryant over emotional distress caused unauthorized photos taken at the scene of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, Kobe Bryant, their daughter Gigi, and seven others.

Driving the news: Jurors returned a unanimous verdict agreeing with Bryant and her co-plaintiff, Christopher Chester, that the photos of their spouses and children's bodies taken and circulated by deputies and firefighters invaded the privacy of the victims' families, per multiple reports.

  • Chester, whose wife, Sarah, and daughter Payton died in the crash, was awarded $15 million.
  • The pictures were taken and shared by employees of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire departments.

What she's saying: "I live in fear every day of being on social media and these popping up," Vanessa Bryant testified during the 11-day trial," according to AP.

  • "I live in fear of my daughters being on social media and these popping up.

The big picture: Vanessa Bryant sued LA County last September after learning first responders took unauthorized photos of the helicopter crash scene.

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