Kobe Bryant family settles $28.5 million photo lawsuit

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The family of the deceased Kobe Bryant has reached a $28.5 million settlement with Los Angeles County to resolve remaining claims in a lawsuit involving lawmakers and firefighters share horrible photos from the NBA starhis 13-year-old daughter and other victims killed in a 2020 helicopter crash, lawyers and court filings said Tuesday.

The figure includes a newly agreed payment by the district of $13.5 million along with the $15 million a federal jury awarded to Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, at a trial in August.

The agreement settles all future claims of Bryant’s three surviving daughters, related issues pending in state courts, and other costs. A proposed settlement order, which must approve a judge, was filed in federal court on Tuesday.

“Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous fight to hold accountable those involved in this grotesque behavior,” Bryant’s attorney Luis Li said in a statement. “She fought for her husband, her daughter and everyone in the community whose deceased family was treated with similar disrespect.”

LA County Attorney Mira Hashmall called the statement “fair and reasonable,” adding, “We hope Ms. Bryant and her children continue to heal from their loss.”

Kobe Bryant, former Lakers star, five-time NBA champion and Basketball Hall of Famer, was traveling with Gianna and seven others to a youth basketball game when the helicopter they were on crashed in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles in the hills collapsed on January 26, 2020.

MPs and firefighters responding to the scene took phone photos of the bodies and debris, which Hashmall said were an essential part of the court’s assessment of the situation.

But the images were shared, mostly between county sheriffs and fire department officials, including some playing video games and attending an awards banquet. They were also seen by some of their spouses and, on one occasion, by a bartender at a bar where a deputy was drinking.

Li told jurors the close-ups had no official or investigative purpose and were merely “visual gossip” shared out of cruel curiosity.

Hashmall argued that the sheriff acted quickly and appropriately in ordering the photos to be removed.

Vanessa Bryant witnessed with tears during the 11-day trial that news of the photos a month after the loss of her husband and daughter added to her still deep sorrow and that she still has panic attacks at the thought that they could still be out there and theirs Daughters they might someday see online.

The verdict in her favor was mistakenly read in court as $16 million, but was later changed to $15 million.

Federal security officials blamed pilot error for the crash itself.

Vanessa Bryant’s co-plaintiff at the lawsuit, Chris Chester, was also awarded $15 million in the lawsuit and reached a settlement of his own with the county in September for nearly $5 million more.

https://news.yahoo.com/kobe-bryant-family-settles-photo-060432848.html Kobe Bryant family settles $28.5 million photo lawsuit


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