Vanessa Bryant Rumors
24 Aug 22
A group of nine federal jurors began deliberating Wednesday in the civil case over graphic photos taken at the site of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others. The deliberations began shortly after an attorney for Los Angeles County argued that the trial is a “pictures case with no pictures,” noting that the gruesome photos of human remains have never actually been seen by the public — or even the plaintiffs, Vanessa Bryant and Christopher Chester.
Vanessa Bryant and Christopher Chester have argued that the taking and sharing of those photos caused emotional distress and violated their constitutional rights. Their attorneys asked the jury for damages of up to $42.5 million for Bryant and $32.5 million for Chester. Los Angeles County, though, has argued that it acted appropriately to investigate and delete the photos and prevent them from ever spreading.
A lawyer for Vanessa Bryant on Tuesday delivered a powerful closing argument in her civil case against Los Angeles County over pictures taken and shared from the 2020 helicopter crash site where her husband, Kobe, and daughter, Gianna, were killed. On behalf of Vanessa, attorney Craig Lavoie opened his statement with a reminder that Kobe would have turned 44 years old Tuesday if he was still alive. “Forty-four years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kobe Bryant was born. Today is his birthday,” Lavoie began, adding what an honor it is to represent Vanessa. He asked for “justice and accountability” for Kobe and Gianna, who would have turned 16 in May.
Lavoie described the January 2020 helicopter accident as “devastating and life-shattering” before he condemned the conduct of the sheriff and fire department defendants, “who were supposed to protect the dignity of those who perished on that hillside.” More than once during his closing statements, Lavoie said the behavior “shocks the conscience.” Vanessa is “haunted by the idea that the images could come out” and is unable to “calm down” from the anxiety, said Lavoie. “She feels asphyxiated,” he stated, before asking the jury, “How much can a person bear?” There is a “chance the photos could someday surface,” according to Lavoie, who asked what the percentage of that occurring is, before he concluded, “Whatever each of us thinks that number is, it’s definitely not zero.”