Vanessa Bryant Wins Crash Photos Lawsuit, Awarded $16 Million

A federal jury awarded the widow of NBA legend Kobe Bryant $16 million in damages Wednesday over the unauthorized release of photographs from the site of the 2020 crash that killed the former Lakers player and his daughter, according to multiple reports.

Vanessa Bryant sued Los Angeles County over leaked photographs of the site of the Jan. 26, 2020, helicopter crash that killed Kobe, 41, and 13-year-old Gianna, NBC News reported. The nine-person jury deliberated for four and half hours before reaching the verdict in favor of Bryant.

Chris Chester, whose wife, Sarah, and 13-year-old daughter, Payton, were also killed when the helicopter crashed in thick fog, won $15 million in damages against the county.

The graphic photographs were taken on personal devices of first responders at the scene, TMZ reported. Los Angeles County Sheriff Chief Jorge Valdez apologized to Bryant and Carter while testifying during the trial.

Vanessa Bryant reached a settlement in a wrongful-death suit against the helicopter company in June 2021. The suit, filed in February 2020, alleged that the helicopter flew 180 miles per hour in unsafe conditions.

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Kobe Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakes for his entire 20-season NBA career, averaging 25 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game, according to Basketball Reference.

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