Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant (Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

A verdict has been reached in the trial for Vanessa Bryant‘s lawsuit against Los Angeles County.

The jury in the lawsuit deliberated for less than four hours before coming to their decision, and ordered Los Angeles County to pay $31 million to the widow of Kobe Bryant and co-plaintiff Christopher Chester, according to multiple reports.

The jury awarded $16 million to Vanessa and $15 million to Christopher — who lost his wife, Sarah, and 13-year-old daughter, Payton, in the same helicopter crash that killed Kobe and 13-year-old Gianna Bryant on Jan. 26, 2020 — the Los Angeles Times reports.

Vanessa and Christopher were seeking millions of dollars in damages for emotional distress regarding gruesome photos taken by officers at the crash site. 

While Vanessa left the courthouse without making a statement to the press, she took to Instagram later in the day and shared a photo of herself, Kobe, and Gianna, which she captioned, “All for you! I love you! JUSTICE for Kobe and Gigi! #Betonyourself #MambaDay 8•24•22.”

Mira Hashmall, partner at the Miller Barondess law firm and lead outside counsel for LA County in the lawsuit, released a statement to ET Wednesday afternoon in response to 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,” Hashmall stated. 

“We will be discussing next steps with our client. Meanwhile, we hope the Bryant and Chester families continue to heal from their tragic loss.”

In May 2020, Vanessa filed a claim against the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department for sharing private photos of the Jan. 26, 2020 crash scene in Calabasas, California, that left nine people dead, including Kobe and Gianna.

Vanessa Bryant wins Kobe Bryant crash photos lawsuit, awarded $16m by jury

The following September, she filed a lawsuit seeking punitive damages for negligence, invasion of privacy as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit accused eight sheriff’s deputies of taking cell phone photos of the bodies of her late husband and late daughter for their personal use.

In her September 2020 filing, Vanessa said that she found out about the photos through a Los Angeles Times report in February and privately reached out to the Sheriff’s Department to ask about the scope of the misconduct and if she should “brace for pictures of her loved ones’ remains to surface on the internet.”

The documents stated that she was later sent a letter saying the department was “unable to assist” with her questions.

“The Sheriff’s Department’s outrageous actions have caused Mrs. Bryant severe emotional distress and compounded the trauma of losing Kobe and Gianna,” the documents read.

“Ms. Bryant feels ill at the thought of strangers gawking at images of her deceased husband and child, and she lives in fear that she or her children will one day confront horrific images of their loved ones online.”

Vanessa Bryant wins Kobe Bryant crash photos lawsuit, awarded $16m by jury
Statue of Kobe Bryant and Gianna (Instagram/@medina_sculpture)

Vanessa was among those to take the stand throughout the duration of her trial, offering a tearful testimony of her experience. She said she was at home breastfeeding her then 7-month-old daughter, Capri, when she was alerted to a Los Angeles Times report about sheriff’s deputies sharing the photos.

“I just remember not wanting to react ’cause the girls were in the room,” Vanessa said (via CNN). “I said, ‘I can’t do this.’ … And I bolted out of the house and I ran to the side of the house so the girls couldn’t see me. I wanted to run… down the block and just scream. I can’t escape my body. I can’t escape what I feel.”

Vanessa also shared that, to this day, she experiences panic attacks and anxiety over the possibility of seeing the photos from the devastating 2020 helicopter crash.

In one of the more disturbing details she shared, Vanessa said she had to remove comments from her Instagram feed after the L.A. Times story was published. According to her attorney, who shared a screen shot, one of the comments read, “Ima leak Kobe’s body.” The comment was accompanied by helicopter and fire emojis.

“I want to remember my husband and my daughter the way they were,” Vanessa said (via The Washington Post) as she testified through tears. “I don’t ever want to see these photographs shared or viewed.”

The verdict arrives shortly after what would have been Kobe’s 44th birthday, on Aug. 23.

“Happy birthday, baby! I love you and miss you so much! #44 ❤️ @kobebryant,” Vanessa wrote on Instagram.

Along with the sweet message, Vanessa shared a throwback picture of her being embraced by her husband, who is wearing a Los Angeles Lakers 2009 championship T- shirt and hat.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.