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Los Angeles County agrees to pay $30 million to Kobe Bryant's widow for leaking accident photos


The payment is in addition to another compensation of 16 million that Vanessa Bryant received for the mishandling of the images of the 2020 event in which the NBA player died.

End to scandal.

After nearly three years of litigation, Los Angeles County (California) has agreed to pay Vanessa Bryant nearly $30 million for leaking footage of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, the Los Angeles Lakers star. Kobe Bryant, and his daughter, Gianna, 13, occurred on January 26, 2020. The agreement reached by the parties is added to compensation of 16 million that the authorities of the American city were forced to pay to the widow of the NBA player last summer following a federal trial.

In all, Bryant's wife, her three daughters, as well as three other families, will receive more than $50 million in the case.

Luis Li, Bryant's lawyer, has celebrated the end of the litigation.

“Vanessa fought for her husband, her daughter and everyone in the community who saw her deceased family members treated with disrespect.

We hope that her victory in the trial and this agreement can put an end to this type of practice, ”said the lawyer in a statement.

The text announces the agreement with the Los Angeles County authorities, on whom the police officers who shared the photographs of the scene where the helicopter that was carrying Bryant and eight other people between the cities of Calabasas and Thousand Oaks, 20 kilometers away, fell. away.

More information

Vanessa, the one in charge of protecting the enormous legacy of Kobe Bryant from opportunists

Mira Hashmall, the Los Angeles County legal representative, called the settlement "fair and reasonable."

This shields the city from new legal actions that Vanessa Bryant and her daughters, Natalia, Bianka and Capri could take.

"We hope that she and her daughters can continue to recover after her loss," added the lawyer.

The agreement, however, will have to be validated by a federal judge.

In August 2022, the county was ordered to pay compensation of 16 million dollars (around 15.9 million euros) for damages in favor of the Bryants.

The amount was later changed to 15 million after an error in court.

In total, the city has disbursed more than $50 million in compensation, defense costs and damages to benefit four families of the victims of the incident.

The Chesters obtained $19.9 million for the death of Sarah and her daughter Payton, Gianna's partner;

and two other families reached separate agreements for 1.2 million last October.

The jury concluded last August that the police violated the privacy of the families after the agents and firefighters who went to the area of ​​the accident took pictures of the fallen helicopter with their mobile phones and later shared them with other uniformed officers.

"I expected more compassion and respect from him," Vanessa Bryant, the basketball player's widow, said during the trial.

“My husband and daughter deserve dignity,” she added.

On the morning of January 26, 2020, shortly after 10 a.m., Kobe Bryant boarded his helicopter with his daughter Gianna.

Also on board were six family friends and the pilot, Ara Zobayan.

They were all heading to the city of Thousand Oaks, in the southeast of the state of California, to play a basketball game at the Mamba Sports Academy, a youth training center founded by Kobe Bryant.

But misty weather and cloudy skies disoriented Zobayan, who crashed into the side of a hill.

Everyone on board died: Kobe and Gianna Bryant;

Christina Mauser;

Payton and Sarah Chester;

John, Keri, and Alyssa Altobelli;

and the pilot.

Kobe Bryant hugs his daughter Gianna Bryant (also killed in the helicopter crash) during a Los Angeles Lakers game on Nov. 17, 2019. Allen Berezovsky (Getty)

Vanessa sued the city authorities in September 2020 along with Chris Chester, who lost his wife and daughter in the accident that occurred northwest of Los Angeles.

Throughout the trial, the authorities argued that the images taken by eight policemen who cordoned off the area were not widely disseminated and that none of them were leaked to the media.

On the day of the accident, the widow of the Lakers star had asked Alex Villanueva, the then Los Angeles sheriff, that no one take photos of the remains.

"Please secure the area," Bryant requested.

During last year's trial, Villanueva justified the actions of his colleagues by assuring that the agents needed to capture some images of the event to coordinate with the emergency teams.

The lawyers for the athlete's family had argued that the capture of this type of photography was only necessary by members of the National Transportation Safety Board, the only ones qualified to carry out the expert opinion.

The sheriff admitted that eight deputies were involved with the footage.

Villanueva ordered the copies to be destroyed.

At least one was seen by a person who did not belong to the corporation.

According to the

Los Angeles Times,

it was a bar employee who saw the capture on the mobile phone of one of those involved.

During the trial, the defense of the Bryants and the Chesters was able to prove that some members of the forces of order shared graphic images of the event.

The affected families sued for invasion of privacy and emotional damage.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-02

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