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Vanessa Bryant’s co-plaintiff gets additional $5 million in crash photo case

New York Daily News 9/20/2022 Joseph Wilkinson

The man who sued Los Angeles County alongside Vanessa Bryant was awarded an additional $4.9 million by the county on Tuesday.

Christopher Chester and Bryant sued after county cops and firefighters shared gruesome photos of the crash that killed their family members, Kobe and Gianna Bryant, and Sarah and Payton Chester, and five others.

Both Chester and Bryant won $15 million awards in late August after a jury trial. Bryant promised to donate hers. She was initially awarded $16 million due to a jury error, which was corrected without a fight from her attorneys.

Firefighters work at the scene of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant. © Mark J. Terrill Firefighters work at the scene of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant.

Firefighters work at the scene of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant. (Mark J. Terrill/)

The Los Angeles County board of supervisors approved a full $19.95 million payment for Chester on Tuesday, USA Today reported. The additional $4.95 million covers Chester’s attorney fees and resolves all his outstanding claims against the county.

It’s possible that Bryant will receive a similar increase in her payout from Los Angeles County, though that remained unclear Tuesday afternoon.

John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli; and Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan were also killed in the Jan. 26, 2020, helicopter crash in the Calabasas hills west of Los Angeles.

After the crash, emergency responders working the scene took macabre photos of the victims. Those photos were eventually shared with dozens of people, from colleagues to random patrons at a bar.

Chester and Bryant sued, arguing that the photos caused them emotional distress. Bryant specifically said she lived in fear of her three daughters seeing the photos on social media someday. The pictures have not surfaced publicly.

“You can’t award too much money for what they went through,” Chester’s attorney Jerome Jackson said in a closing argument. “What they went through is inhuman and inhumane.”

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