A Maryland judge has overturned a jury’s decision to award the surviving family of Korryn Gaines $37 million. The 23-year-old was shot twice, along with her 5-year-old son Kodi, during an hour-long standoff in August 2016. The child survived Gaines did not.
According to CNN, Baltimore County Circuit Court Associate Judge Mickey J. Norman stated in an opinion Cpl Royce Ruby’s conduct was “entitled to qualified immunity,” which translates as Ruby was well within his rights as a member of law enforcement and is “shielded from liability for civil damages.”
Norman’s opinion states Ruby acted within the margins of the law. “This court has found that Corporal Ruby is entitled to qualified immunity and therefore, his shooting of Gaines was not unlawful.”
However, Norman states the damages Gaines’ surviving family was seeking were “excessive and shocks the conscience.”
The jury awarded $32.85 million to Gaines’ son Kodi, $23, 542 for his medical bills and $4.53 million to Gaines’ daughter Karsyn Courtney. The jury also found it fit to award Gaines’ mother Rhanda Dormeus $307,000 and $300,000 to her father Ryan Gaines.
Judge Norman said the court would grant a new civil trial on account of this new opinion.
J. Wyndal Gordon, Gaines’ family lawyer said the family is disappointed but not “defeated nor deterred from doing what must be done now.”
“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,” 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.”
Baltimore County police spokesperson confirmed that Cpl Royce Ruby is still a member of the department.