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Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit winnings reduced by $1 million after juror discovered error

Vanessa Bryant’s $16 million verdict in her civil trial against Los Angeles County has been reduced by $1 million after a juror discovered an error.

Bryant was initially awarded $16 million in her case after a jury unanimously found Los Angeles County liable for damages following the death of her husband, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, and their daughter, Gianna, along with seven others in a helicopter crash in 2020. Her fellow plaintiff, Chris Chester, was awarded $15 million by the same jury in the case, bringing total damages up to $31 million.

Bryant’s extra $1 million, however, was awarded out of an error.

“It was the nine jurors' intent that both plaintiffs Vanessa Bryant and Christopher Chester to be awarded equally,” U.S. District Judge John F. Walter noted in court Friday, via USA Today’s Brent Schrotenboer.

Bryant agreed to the change Friday, and her attorney said it was a “just result” that she and Chester received the same amount. The jury was not called back for the matter.

Bryant initially filed her lawsuit in Sept. 2020, about eight months after the crash, which also killed Chester’s wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Payton. A group of deputies took or shared graphic and gruesome photos from the crash site without reason, and Sheriff Alex Villanueva kept the issue hidden until a complaint was filed. Bryant said in court that she suffered panic attacks after learning that the photos of her husband and daughter were out there.

Bryant will now be awarded $1.5 million by the sheriff’s department for past emotional distress, not $2.5 million. She was awarded $7.5 million for future suffering from the department, and the L.A. County Fire Department owes her $6 million in total for emotional suffering.

Bryant said that she will donate the $15 million to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, which was renamed to honor Kobe and Gianna after their deaths and is dedicated to providing funding and sports programming to underserved athletes.

Vanessa Bryant
Vanessa Bryant agreed to the change on Friday, which will award her $15 million — the same amount her co-plaintiff, Christopher Chester, received. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images)