A recent court order brought the memories of the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. The Los Angeles Lakers legend died in a helicopter crash in January 2020. The court ordered Los Angeles County to pay $31 million in damages to Kobe’s widow and a co-plaintiff.
• Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters took pictures of the January 2020 helicopter carnage
• A Los Angeles court hearing of the matter finds it a case fit for misconduct
• The court orders compensation for mental trauma for the families of the deceased
What Is The Photo Case?
In January 2020, Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters rushed to the spot on hearing the news of a helicopter crash. The chopper was carrying Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and several others to a girls’ basketball tournament in nearby Thousand Oaks when it ran into rough weather and crashed. The officials who visited the crash sites took pictures of the mangled remains including the champion Kobe Bryant and his daughter.
The trial court learned that some of the officials showed the photos to members of the public including a bartender. One official even texted the pictures to a friend while playing video games. The court took notice of the incident and ordered $16 million to Bryant, and $15 million to Chester.
Who Was Chris Chester?
Chris Chester was the husband of Sarah, the co-plaintiff. He and his daughter, Payton, also perished in the crash. Sarah sued for emotional trauma over the pictures which she feared could land in the public domain. But Chester’s lawyer had called for $1 million for every year of the plaintiffs’ expected lives.
Who Represented The County In The Court?
Mira Hashmall represented the county. She argued that while the employees had broken the confidentiality policies, the privacy of the deceased had not been violated because the photos had never been in the public domain. After the verdict, Hashmall said that she and other lawyers would consult the county about the next step.