The man who, along with Vanessa Bryant, sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after deputies shared gruesome images of the crash that killed his wife and daughter, along with NBA legend Kobe Bryant and six others , has reached a $20 million settlement.
Both Christopher Chester and Bryant have already been awarded $15 million each in federal court in LA after a jury found last month that LA County Sheriff’s Deputy and County Firefighters had invaded their privacy and caused emotional distress by taking grisly photos of his wife Sarah and 13-year-old daughter Payton after the crash on January 26, 2020 in Calabasas, California.
Mira Hashmall, one of the attorneys representing LA County, said, “We believe the $19,950,000 settlement with the Chester family is fair and reasonable for all parties involved.”
“This amount includes the $15 million judgment awarded to Mr. Chester by the federal jury and resolves all outstanding issues relating to the pending state claims, future claims by the Chester children, attorneys’ fees and costs.
“We sincerely hope that this settlement will help Mr. Chester and his children move forward in their lives.”
US District Judge John Walter gave Bryant and Chester until September 19 to state whether they planned to continue to advance California’s violation of privacy claims that had been separated from federal civil litigation.
The case for the Bryant family is ongoing as attorneys asked the judge for more time to make a decision and were given until October 10.
Bryant and Chester’s attorneys did not respond to requests for comment.
In a key emotional testimony during the federal trial, Vanessa Bryant said she felt hurt and betrayed after she found out from news reports that first responders were sharing gruesome photos of her husband and baby daughter.
Testifying at the trial was bartender Victor Gutierrez, Dept. Joey Cruz showed him pictures of burned body parts two days after the fatal helicopter crash.
Luis Li, Vanessa Bryant’s attorney, said Cruz walked around the wreckage and took close-up photos of the NBA legend’s dismembered body parts.
An Internal Affairs investigation found that Cruz and other lawmakers violated several department policies in handling the crash footage.
LA County attorneys said deputies and firefighters who received the photos wiped their phones clean before they were processed in the investigation.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/20/vanessa-bryant-co-plaintiff-settles-crash-pics-case-for-20m/ Vanessa Bryant’s co-plaintiff compares Crash Pics case to $20 million