Vanessa Bryant settles remaining claims over Kobe crash site photos for $28.9 million
The legal saga over the photos taken of the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash site is over and the final payout for his widow Vanessa Bryant is $28.85 million, according to USA Today.
Vanessa has reportedly reached a settlement to close her remaining litigation and future claims against Los Angeles County that its sheriff's department and fire department shared photos showing the aftermath of the deadly crash involving her husband and daughter Gianna.
She had previously won $15 million in federal court (initially $16 million before a juror discovered an error) in her initial lawsuit against L.A. County, but that wasn't the end of the county's exposure. The new settlement, which includes that previously won money, will also see Bryant's children added as plaintiffs to finalize the deal.
The settlement is reportedly still subject to court approval.
Vanessa's attorney Luis Li said he hoped their victory will prevent similar cases in the future in a statement:
“Today marks the successful culmination of Mrs. Bryant’s courageous battle to hold accountable those who engaged in this grotesque conduct. She fought for her husband, her daughter, and all those in the community whose deceased family were treated with similar disrespect. We hope her victory at trial and this settlement will put an end to this practice.”
After her initial win, Bryant pledged to donate the money to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation. It's unclear if the settlement money will have the same fate. She and the other families with loved ones in the crash also reached a confidential settlement in 2021 with the helicopter company involved in the crash.
Chris Chester, whose wife and daughter died in the crash, won $15 million in a parallel lawsuit against L.A. County and settled his remaining claims for nearly $20 million last year.
Per USA Today, Bryant and Chester still had leverage after their wins in court because they could have pursued California state law claims against the county that were not part of the trial in federal court. The total cost of the scandal for L.A. County now sits at over $50 million when adding two $1.25 million settlements for the other families involved in the crash.