RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — A special appeals court ruled Wednesday in favor of the family of Korryn Gaines in an ongoing wrongful death lawsuit.
In 2016, the then 23-year-old Gaines was shot and killed by police in an hours-long standoff in Baltimore County.
Ever since, her family has been fighting for justice for her.
WJZ just spoke with the family attorney who said this newest ruling is a step in the right direction.
Originally, a grand jury awarded the family $38 million. A year later, however, that decision was reversed by a Baltimore County Circuit Court judge.
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The most recent ruling essentially says that judge is wrong.
A special appeals court ruled to reinstate the $38 million verdict awarded to them in a civil suit.
Gaines was shot and killed by Baltimore County Police in 2016 during a six-hour standoff at her Randallstown apartment.
Police said she pointed a shotgun at officers trying to serve an arrest warrant.
“Korryn Gaines died a horrible, tragic, sadistic death, and we just wanted justice for her and her family,” Gaines’ family attorney J. Wyndal Gordon said.
Ever since her death, Gaines’ family has been fighting through the legal system.
Her family sued Baltimore County Police, saying that officers used excessive force when they fatally shot her and injured her 5-year-old son.
In 2018, a grand jury awarded Gaines’ family $38 million, but a year later, a Baltimore County Circuit Court judge reversed that decision citing, qualified immunity, which protects police officers from civil liability when carrying out their duties.
The family appealed, and on Wednesday, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled in their favor.
Gordon said he spoke to Gaines’ mother about the decision.
“She wanted to say that justice was on the wings for us, but that we would win this case. But, she’s very excited,” he said.
Gordon said the next step is to return to court where they will make adjustments to the verdict and figure out what the actual award will be.
WJZ reached out to Baltimore County which sent us a statement saying they’re reviewing the opinion issued.