Vanessa Bryant has won her lawsuit against Los Angeles County … after a jury of ten decided she has suffered and will continue to suffer severe emotional distress as a result of the death scene photos captured on the cell phones of 8 L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies — photos she fears will someday surface publicly. That fear was the basis of her lawsuit.
The jury awarded Vanessa $16 million. Chris Chester — who lost his daughter and wife in the helicopter crash — was awarded $15 million.
Chester’s attorney, Jerry Jackson, tells TMZ … “Grateful to a jury and judge that gave us a fair trial.”
Vanessa broke down sobbing when the verdict was read. The jury was polled and Vanessa looked at them one by one in approval.
The verdicts were against both the L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. and the L.A. County Fire Dept.
The deputies not only took the photos but shared them with friends, family and even strangers at a bar. The photos were even shared at a party with fire officials.
Lawyers for the County had argued the photos have never surfaced and they have been deleted from the cell phones in question … so there was no cause for alarm that they might leak.
During closing arguments, the lawyer for Chester asked for up to $32.5 million. Bryant’s attorney did not ask for a specific amount … rather asking the jury to award what’s right.
The trial lasted two weeks and was at times so laden with graphic descriptions, Vanessa cried and periodically left the courtroom. Kobe and Gigi Bryant, along with Sarah and Payton Chester, were killed along with 5 others in the January 26, 2020 crash.