August 26, 2022

Munger, Tolles & Olson Wins $16M Jury Verdict for Vanessa Bryant in Trial over Crash Site Photos

Munger, Tolles & Olson partners Craig Jennings Lavoie and Jennifer Bryant, together with Luis Li, Eric Tuttle and Melissa Mills of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, won a $16 million jury verdict on behalf of Vanessa Bryant in her trial regarding the inappropriate sharing of photos from the scene of the helicopter crash that tragically killed her husband and daughter, Kobe and Gianna Bryant.

Following a two-week trial, the federal jury ruled in favor of Ms. Bryant and co-plaintiff Christopher Chester, finding the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department liable for violating their constitutional right to control images of their deceased loved ones. The jury awarded Ms. Bryant $16 million and $15 million to Mr. Chester.

Munger, Tolles & Olson partner Craig Lavoie delivered the closing argument, and partner Jennifer Bryant cross examined numerous key witnesses for the Fire Department and Coroner’s Office.

The decision came down on August 24, a day that has been recognized by local officials and fans as Kobe Bryant Day (aka Mamba Day), which commemorates the life of the late Los Angeles Lakers legend.

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