Vanessa Bryant Awarded $16M After Trial Over Helicopter Crash Site Photos

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Vanessa Bryant and her co-plaintiff, Chris Chester, have been awarded $31 million combined by a Los Angeles jury, via People. On Wednesday (August 24), a final verdict was reached on the trial for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) and Fire Department's (LAFD) involvement in sharing photos of the bodies of Bryant and Chris' families.

LASD was ordered to pay Vanessa $10 million, with $2.5 million for pain and suffering and $7.5 million for any future pain and suffering —and they were ordered to pay Chester $9 million total. The LAFD was also ordered to pay Vanessa and Chester $6 million each for past and future pain and suffering. The outlet pointed out that the final verdict was reached on Kobe Bryant Day aka Mamba Day.

According to People, the trial began on August 10th and has since "revealed harrowing details about the aftermath of the January 2020 helicopter crash that killed NBA legend and 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, and the seven other people on board." Chester lost his wife Sarah and daughter Payton in the tragic crash. Both Vanessa and Chester sued Los Angeles County for "emotional distress and mental anguish after learning members of the department had shared photos of the victims' remains." They claimed that photos of the victims' bodies were shared publicly on at least 28 devices owned by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and by more than a dozen first responders.

Multiple witnesses came forward sharing their experiences with the photo sharing from the department. At one point in the courtroom, Vanessa accused emergency personnel who allegedly photographed and shared images showing Gianna's body of "taking advantage that her daddy wasn't there to protect her."

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