Jury award in Kobe Bryant trial corrected to $30 million, not $31 million – Daily News

The previously announced $31 million combined jury award against Los Angeles County for Vanessa Bryant and her co-plaintiff in the helicopter crash site photos lawsuit should have been $30 million, a a judge determined Friday, based on a juror’s note delivered less than an hour after the highest number was read aloud in court Wednesday and reported around the world.

During a hearing in federal court on Friday, U.S. District Judge John Walter read from the filing that at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, a juror told the courtroom deputy that there was an error in the verdict form regarding Vanessa Bryant, who was awarded a total of $16 million for past and future damages – including $2.5 million to be paid by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for past suffering.

According to a transcript of Friday’s proceedings provided to the City News Service, the courtroom deputy advised the juror to write a note explaining the alleged error. The juror then prepared a handwritten note which was filed in court under seal. In the note, the juror said Vanessa Bryant should receive $1.5 million from the sheriff’s department, not $2.5 million, for past damages.

The memo says it was the intention of the nine jurors that the two plaintiffs Vanessa Bryant and Chris Chester be awarded equally, the judge said.

Walter held a sealed hearing Thursday morning with an attorney to discuss the case and requested briefs in the afternoon.

“In her brief, plaintiff Vanessa Bryant states that she is willing to accept a verdict and/or modified judgment that reduces her sentence against the Sheriff’s Department by $1 million to avoid any potential need for jury review after that they have already been released and potentially exposed to outside influences,” the judge said.

This reduces his total award to $15 million, the same amount taken from the county by jurors on Chester’s behalf.

Bryant’s attorney, Luis Li, told the court that his client “really feels it’s a fair outcome that she received the same amount as Mr. Chester. From her heart, she feels that.

The judge said that in light of the circumstances, recalling the released jury would not have been appropriate.

“This trial and the verdict received national publicity,” he said. “The jury in this case not only left the building, but had to be escorted out of the building to ensure their privacy. The juror did not inform the Court of the potential error until about 35 to 40 minutes after the verdicts were read, after which major news outlets, including CNN, were already reporting the results of the verdict.

The judge instructed attorneys to meet, confer, prepare and file separate motions for Bryant and Chester by the end of the month.

At the end of the hour-plus hearing, Bryant’s attorney, Luis Li, said that in his 30 years of practice, he had never dealt with such a “sensitive issue” regarding the jurors.

The damages awarded to Los Angeles County were awarded to compensate for past and future mental anguish caused by the actions of county staff who took and shared cellphone photos taken at the scene of the January crash. 2020.

Both plaintiffs lost spouses and daughters in the crash. Bryant’s husband and daughter, Gianna, and Chester’s wife, Sarah, and 13-year-old daughter, Payton, died in the accident on a remote Calabasas hill.

Jurors in downtown Los Angeles delivered their verdict after about four and a half hours of deliberation on the 11th day of the trial. Vanessa Bryant cried when the verdict was announced and shortly after posted a photo of herself with Kobe and Gianna, with the caption: “All for you! I love you! JUSTICE for Kobe and Gigi!

On Thursday, the widow announced her intention to donate the proceeds of her share of the judgment to a foundation named in memory of her husband and daughter.

The nonprofit Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation provides sports education to underserved athletes. Kobe Bryant’s nickname was Black Mamba.

When calculating damages, the jury found that the Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles County Fire Department both violated Bryant and Chester’s constitutional rights to privacy of their deceased loved ones.

Mira Hashmall, a private attorney who represented the county in the case, released a statement after the verdict saying the attorneys “will discuss next steps with our client.”

“In the meantime, we hope the Bryant and Chester families continue to recover from their tragic loss,” Hashmall said.

While the jury held the sheriff’s department responsible for maintaining a practice of sharing photos taken at accident or crime scenes, the county fire department was not found to have a such custom.

The verdict came a day after what would have been Kobe Bryant’s 44th birthday, and it happened on ‘Mamba Day’ in Los Angeles, which celebrates his life each year on August 24, or 8-24, both numbers he wore during his 20-year career with the Lakers.

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