Vanessa Bryant Reaches $28.85 Million Settlement With Los Angeles County Over Helicopter Crash Photos Story-level
Vanessa Bryant, the widow of the late NBA legend kobe bryanthas reached a nearly $30 million settlement with Los Angeles County for photos taken of the scene of the Deadly helicopter crash in 2020a county attorney said on February 28.
The settlement is for $28.85 million and resolves all claims involving the county, Mira Hashmall, Los Angeles County’s lead trial attorney in the case, said in a statement.
The settlement ends litigation with the county over grim photos taken by first responders of the January 26, 2020 crash site, which were later leaked.
the Angels Kobe Bryant, icon of the Lakers, 41; her 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant; other seven other people died in the crash in Calabasas, near the southern California coast, northwest of Los Angeles.
The nearly $30 million deal includes the $15 million awarded to Vanessa Bryant by a jury in August, Hashmall said.
The settlement also resolves all pending claims in state court and any future claims by the Bryant children, he said. The couple had three other children.
“We hope that Ms. Bryant and her children continue to recover from their loss,” Hashmall said. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the deal, she said.
Bryant’s attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday night.
Evidence at trial showed that a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff showed a photo of Kobe Bryant’s body to a bartender, prompting an official complaint from another patron of the bar.
Evidence also showed that the firefighters passed photos to each other at an awards banquet and that others shared them with their spouses.
kobe bryant is loved In Los Angeles. He played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, retiring in 2016.
Chris Chester, whose wife, Sarah, and 13-year-old daughter, Payton, died in the crash, also sued over the photos and their handling. The jury in August also awarded him $15 million.
The National Transportation Safety Board said in February 2021 that the bad decisions of the helicopter pilot and “spatial disorientation” led to the crash. The pilot, who also died, continued to fly under visual flight rules in instrument meteorological conditions.
The pilot, Ara Zobayan, said he was climbing to get above the clouds, according to the NTSB. Instead, the aircraft descended rapidly in a left turn towards the ground and crashed.
The pilot should have avoided the weather and diverted, returned to base or landed, NTSB staffer Michael Graham said at the time.
The accident also killed John Altobelli, 56; his wife, Keri Altobelli, 46; his daughter Alyssa Altobelli, 14; and Christina Mauser, 38.
This story first appeared in NBCNews.com.