While two players were stars on the court, their family member has recently earned a win in a court of law. More than two and a half years following the fatal helicopter crash that killed nine individuals, Vanessa Bryant and Christopher Chester are victorious in their lawsuit against Los Angeles County. The pair, which consists of the widow of basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, and the husband and father of two of the passengers onboard the aircraft, sued over the casual handling of crash site photos. The close-up visuals of the deceased passengers’ remains were unprofessionally passed through various channels within the sheriff’s department and fire department, and among other public officials.
Traveling to a basketball game at Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, the pilot failed to abide by regulations and chose to dangerously venture into cloudy conditions. His inability to properly navigate the aircraft in fog most likely led to disorientation and caused him to lose control of the helicopter. Although grief stricken by the ordeal, the plaintiffs’ critical point of contention in this most recent case involved the invasion of privacy allegedly committed by public figures within Los Angeles County. According to the plaintiffs’ argument, there was no official reason to share the photographs among members of the departments other than to elicit gossip.
Defense for Los Angeles County discounted the claims and assured the public that the purpose of sharing the photos was to aid first-responders in determining whether or not some of the victims could have been saved. Despite this argument, the 11-day civil trial ended in a verdict awarding Bryant $16 million and Chester $15 million. In addition to losing her husband in the crash, Vanessa Bryant’s daughter, Gianna, was also killed. The daughter she shared with one of the best basketball players to ever exist was viewed as the prodigy who may continue her father’s legacy.