Status: 25.8.2022 07:30
In 2020, American basketball player Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash. Now his widow will have to receive millions in damages – because of the photos taken of the accident scene by the police and rescue workers.
About two and a half years after her husband’s death, the widow of the American basketball star Kobe Bryant was sentenced in court for millions in damages. The athlete died in a helicopter accident. Vanessa Bryant, on the other hand, complained that the emergency services took photos at the scene of the accident and then shared them.
Since the accident occurred on January 26, 2020 near Los Angeles, Los Angeles County must pay for the damages. Widow Bryant should receive $16 million, which is roughly €16 million. Another plaintiff, whose wife and daughter were killed in the accident, was awarded $15 million by a grand jury. In addition to Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven other passengers were in the helicopter. It is said that the pilot lost his direction when he got into thick clouds.
Emotional distress and fear of digital distribution
The lawyers of the sports star’s 40-year-old widow stated in the trial that during the 24 hours after the accident, at least eleven policemen and about the same number of firefighters had shown or sent pictures of the accident scene to friends and other rescue workers. Some of the body parts were also visible in the recordings. An officer from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office reportedly circulated the photos while visiting the bar.
Attorneys for the district being sued did not deny the photos were taken. The images were never shared publicly and have since been removed.
Vanessa Bryant and the other plaintiff, Chris Chester, suffered great emotional distress as a result of their actions, attorneys for the plaintiffs said. They had even demanded $40 million in damages to the widow and $30 million to Chester. In court, Vanessa Bryant compared the corona pandemic to her fear that the recordings could also end up on the Internet and continue to spread there:
It’s like Covid. Once it’s spread, it can’t be undone.
Already in 2021, the relatives got justice in court
This is not the first verdict for the death of the professional basketball player and others in the helicopter. In a separate process, other relatives of the deceased were awarded a total of $2.5 million in compensation for the images last year.
Kobe Bryant is considered one of the best players in the history of the North American professional league NBA. He won five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers during his 20-year career and won gold medals with Team USA at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. In 2016, he retired.