Vanessa Bryant settles claims with LA County for nearly $29 million in helicopter crash lawsuit
(LOS ANGELES) — Vanessa Bryant settled her remaining claims with Los Angeles County on Tuesday for $28,850,000 over photos that members of the sheriff’s department shared after the helicopter crash that killed her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna in January 2020, according to county attorneys.
Co-plaintiff Chris Chester, whose wife and daughter were also killed in the crash, settled for $19,950,000.
“Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct. 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,” Luis Li, Vanessa Bryant’s attorney, said in a statement.
LA County attorneys said they hoped the Bryant and Chester families would be able to heal from their loss.
“We believe the settlement approved by the Board in the Bryant case is fair and reasonable. The $28,850,000 settlement includes the verdict awarded by the federal jury in August 2022, and further resolves all outstanding issues related to pending legal claims in state court, future claims by the Bryant children, and other costs, with each party responsible for its respective attorneys’ fees,” Mira Hashmall, partner at the Miller Barondess law firm and lead trial counsel for LA County in the Bryant-Chester case, said in a statement.
Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, were headed to a basketball game at his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks along with others connected to the basketball program on Jan. 26, 2020, when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed in Calabasas. All nine people on board were killed.
Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit several months after the crash against Los Angeles County, alleging that first responders took graphic photos of human remains at the scene as “souvenirs” and shared them with others. She claimed she suffered emotional distress and sued for negligence and invasion of privacy.
In August 2022, a jury awarded Vanessa Bryant $16 million in her invasion of privacy trial against Los Angeles County.
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