Her lawsuit accuses Los Angeles County of sharing unauthorized images from Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash, in which her daughter Gianna and seven others died.

Her legal battle against Los Angeles County officials is over.

As of Aug. 24, following nearly two weeks of deposition from first responders and Vanessa herself, a jury reached a verdict and ordered Los Angeles County to pay Vanessa $16 million in damages. According to an eyewitness, Vanessa cried as the ruling came out after the jury deliberated for less than five hours. 

Also awarded Damages of $15 million was co-plaintiff Chris Chester. His wife Sarah and daughter Payton, 13, were among the nine who lost their lives in the January 2020 helicopter crash. As to Bryant, his daughter Gianna, 13, was also on board.

Mira Hashmall, who led outside counsel for Los Angeles County, said after the verdict, “We are grateful for the jury’s hard work in this case. While we disagree with the jury’s findings as to the County’s liability, we believe the monetary award shows that jurors didn’t believe the evidence supported the Plaintiffs’ request of $75 million for emotional distress.”

They will discuss the next steps with their client, adding, “Meanwhile, we hope the Bryant and Chester families continue to heal from their tragic loss.”

No cameras were allowed in the courtroom during Vanessa’s testimony at the trial, which did not allow cameras in the courtroom. So instead, she recounted the devastating moment she learned that several L.A. County sheriff’s deputies and firefighters had uploaded unauthorized photos. 

“I just remember not wanting to react with my girls in the room,” Vanessa wrote on Aug. 19. “Broke down and cried” after running out of the house. “I just felt like I wanted to run down the block and scream.”

Being “blindsided, devastated, hurt and betrayed” over the photos, Vanessa described filing a lawsuit because she “wanted answers.”

“I live in fear every day,” Vanessa said, adding that she never wants her daughter Natalia, 19, Bianka, 5, and Capri, 3, to see the photos. “All you want to do is protect your babies.”

Vanessa attended every day of the trial in La court, sometimes wiping away tears and sometimes leaving when deposition or proof became too overwhelming to listen.

At the beginning of September 2020, She originally sued Los Angeles County officials. In her lawsuit, Vanessa and her legal team claimed, “No fewer than eight sheriff’s deputies at the crash site pulled out their personal cell phones and snapped photos of the dead children, parents, and coaches. The deputies took these photos for their own personal gratification.”

L.A. has filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages, including exemplary damages.

Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department previously released information. “Shortly following this tragic crash, Sheriff Alex Villanueva sponsored legislation which now makes it a crime for public safety personnel to take or share non-official pictures of this nature,” read the statement. “As a result of the swift actions we took under extraordinary circumstances, no pictures made it into the public arena. We continue to offer our heartfelt sympathies for the victims and their families.”

A country of L.A. claimed Vanessa’s lawsuit was without legal merit. Per the Aug. 3 defendants’ attempt.

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