Los Angeles (CNN) — On what would have been Kobe Bryant’s 44th birthday, attorneys for his widow and a co-plaintiff urged a jury Tuesday to consider awarding millions of dollars for emotional distress and violation of constitutional rights caused by officers and firefighters from Bryant County. The Angels who took and shared close-up images of the remains of their loved ones.
The lawsuit brought by Vanessa Bryant and co-plaintiff Christopher Chester against Los Angeles County focuses on photos taken after the helicopter crash that killed Bryant, their daughter Gianna, as well as Chester’s wife Sarah, their daughter Payton and five other people on January 26, 2020.
Witnesses during the trial included an official who said he showed graphic images of the scene while at a bar, another official who said he shared photos while playing a video game, an official who sent dozens of photos to someone he didn’t know, and a member of the fire department who showed the images to other members of staff during the cocktail party at an awards ceremony.
“It will never be too much money for what they went through,” said Jerry Jackson, who represents Chester, in his closing arguments. “What they went through is cruel and inhumane.”
Bryant and Chester should each receive $2.5 million for their pain, plus another $100,000 to $1 million for each year they have left to live, Jackson said.
That would bring the total to between $6.5 million and $42.5 million for Bryant and between $5.5 million and $32.5 million for Chester, he said.
Vanessa Bryant left the courtroom
Craig Lavoie, an attorney representing Bryant, began his closing argument by recalling Kobe Bryant’s 44th birthday: “It’s an honor to be here asking for justice and accountability” on behalf of the Bryants.
Vanessa Bryant wept and her attorney Luis Li comforted her as Lavoie recalled how Fire Captain Brian Jordan had allegedly photographed Gianna Bryant’s remains.
At the end of Lavoie’s discussions, Bryant buried his eyes in a handkerchief before getting up and leaving. He returned for the conclusion of Chester’s attorney’s arguments.
Los Angeles County maintains that its handling of the photos ultimately resulted in their successful removal and argues that it is being sued for photos that have never been made public. But Lavoie told the jury the county can’t say that because one of its officers airdropped the photos to an as-yet-unidentified fire captain and Jordan’s laptop was missing a hard drive when it was delivered to the county. county.
Lavoie said Bryant and Chester must live with the knowledge that “either the photos will come out and all their fears will come true, or they will live in fear for the rest of their lives about when that day will come,” he said.
Lavoie reminded the jury that in a federal civil suit, one does not need to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt; instead, the jury is asked to determine whether Los Angeles County most likely violated the constitutional rights of Bryant and Chester due to inadequate policies or training, and/or a custom or practice of taking unlawful photographs of the decedent. .
On Tuesday, Bryant posted an Instagram message to Kobe, wishing him a happy birthday.
“Happy birthday baby! I love and miss you so much,” she wrote.
Filed in September 2020, the lawsuit seeks undisclosed damages, alleging civil rights violations, negligence, emotional distress, and violation of privacy.