Kobe Bryant crash photos case takes new twist amid latest settlement
The Kobe Bryant crash photos case is not yet over … at least for the wife of the late Los Angeles Lakers icon, Vanessa Bryant.
To recall, Vanessa and co-plaintiff Chris Chester filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit against the LA County Sheriff’s and Fire departments. They were eventually awarded $15 million each in damages following a two-week jury trial last August. The lawsuit addressed the shocking and controversial leak of the photos from the helicopter crash site where Kobe, his daughter Gianna and seven others died.
Now in the latest update on the case, per USA Today, the Los Angeles County has apparently agreed to pay $19.95 million to the family of Chester. It includes the $15 million judgment from the jury trial, with the increase in pay made in exchange for agreeing to settle all pending litigation and future claims either from him or his family.
For those not in the know, the issue that underwent trial relates to the distribution of the photos. However, there is a separate claim under California state law with regards to the taking of the photos, according to a Law and Crime report. Chester has basically waived his right to pursue the latter with his settlement.
As for Vanessa Bryant, she has not settled with the county and it has yet to be revealed whether she’ll pursue the California invasion of privacy claims.
“These are different claims now because, as the court found, the taking of photos is not a violation under (federal precedent), whereas taking of photos is a violation under state law, invasion of privacy,” Luis Li said in court last August 26, via USA Today. “So we have not yet decided what to do.”