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Family of Chris Chester Awarded Nearly $20M in Kobe Bryant Crash Photo Lawsuit

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 20, 2022

Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Chris Chester lost his wife and daughter in the January 2020 helicopter crash that killed nine people, including Kobe and Gianna Bryant, and his family was awarded $19.95 million in a settlement with Los Angeles County.

Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today reported the agreement covers the $15 million verdict Chester won in a trial against the county in August and additional money to guarantee he doesn't look for future litigation in relation to the crash.

Both Chester and Vanessa Bryant, the widow of Kobe Bryant, sued the county for invasion of privacy and alleged members of the sheriff's and fire department took photographs of the crash scene for their own personal use.

The case went to an 11-day trial, and the jury ruled the county violated their constitutional rights.

Bryant—who has not settled with the county like Chester—was also awarded $15 million, although it was initially reported as $16 million. It was reduced by $1 million because of an error on the verdict form.

Schrotenboer noted Los Angeles County paid $1.25 million each in settlements to two other families who lost people in the crash. Those families did not take their cases to trial, while Bryant and Chester did in front of a jury that awarded the damages for past and future emotional distress.

Bryant's attorney, Luis Li, said she will donate the money to the Mamba and Mambacita foundation to honor her husband and daughter.

According to the Mamba and Mambacita foundation's website, it is "dedicated to creating positive impact for underserved athletes and boys and girls in sports" and "founded through the vision and loving memory of Kobe and Gianna 'Gigi' Bryant."

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