Judge Repeals Jury's Decision To Award Korryn Gaines' Estate $37 Million In Wrongful Death Suit
The officer who killed Gaines remains an employee of the police department to this day.
As Blavity previously reported, Gaines was shot and killed on August 1, 2016, after Baltimore County officers believed she pointed a gun at them during a standoff. The 23-year-old was with her 5-year-old son Kodi during the incident, and he was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Following her death, Gaines' family filed a $4 million lawsuit against Corporal Royce Ruby, the officer who killed her, and Baltimore County, seeking $2 million from each party. They were ultimately awarded more than $37 million from the jury, citing the deputy who killed her fired the first shot without proper cause.
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According to the New York Daily News, the jury awarded $32 million to Kodi Gaines and $4.5 million to his sister Karsyn. Gaines' parents and legacy were all given around $300,000.
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On Friday, a Maryland judge overturned the jury's award, saying the officer acted in "entitled to qualified immunity," per a conclusion obtained by CNN.
"The evidence is clear," Baltimore County Circuit Court Associate Judge Mickey J. Norman's statement read. "This Court has found that Corporal Ruby is entitled to qualified immunity and therefore, his shooting of Gaines was not unlawful."
Consequently, a new trial will occur to reflect this resolution.
A lawyer for the Gaines family spoke with CNN on Friday following the revelation and reported the family was heartbroken by the judge's ruling but does not consider it a defeat.
"We have great appellate issues and an excellent opportunity to have reviewed not just the recent decision but some of the earlier decisions in the case that were disfavorable," attorney J. Wyndal Gordon said. "Nobody told us the road would be easy. I don't believe God brought us this far to leave us. This case is by no means over. We will fight to the finish to preserve the jury's verdict and restore justice to the family."
The Baltimore Sun writes that Corporal Royce Ruby remains employed by the Baltimore County Police Department.
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