Baltimore County officials and attorneys representing the family of Korryn Gaines have finalized a $3 million settlement, the county confirmed Wednesday.
The agreement comes five years after Gaines’ death and resolves claims brought by her parents, daughter and estate, according to a copy of the agreement released by the county.
A county police officer shot the 23-year-old Gaines during a standoff at her Randallstown apartment in 2016, killing her and injuring her then-5-year-old son, Kodi.
Left unsettled are the legal claims brought by attorneys for Kodi, who was shot in the elbow and face and underwent multiple surgeries for his injuries. The county has not yet agreed to a settlement for the child, who was assigned the majority of a county jury’s $38 million award in 2018.
The jury’s decision, which awarded Kodi more than $32 million, represented one of the largest verdicts ever involving a Baltimore-area police department.
But the next year, a county judge overturned the jury’s decision, finding that the officer, Cpl. Royce Ruby, acted reasonably. The judge, Mickey J. Norman, wrote that physical evidence showed that Gaines, armed with a shotgun, began to raise her weapon, and Ruby believed she was about to fire.
The case has dragged on since then, with a Maryland appeals court ruling in 2020 that Norman erred in wiping out the jury award.
In an email to The Baltimore Sun, attorney Kenneth Ravenell, who represents now-10-year-old Kodi, said the child “was physically and mentally scarred for life when Officer Ruby shot him and killed his mother in front of him.”
“Justice will not come until the County pays Kodi,” Ravenell said in the email. “Last week at the County’s request we provided a demand to settle Kodi’s case. We are awaiting the County’s response. We will not settle Kodi’s cases for less than he deserves.”
County spokesman Sean Naron declined to comment on Kodi’s case, saying he couldn’t discuss pending litigation.
Ruby is no longer employed with the county police department, officials said. Prosecutors in 2016 declined to charge him in the shooting, finding it legally justified.
After the civil trial in 2018, the jury awarded about $5.4 million to the family members who have now settled with the county. That included $4.5 million to Gaines’ daughter, Karsyn; a total of $607,000 to her parents; and $300,000 to her estate.
The settlement had been reached in recent weeks but was not signed by the county’s top attorney and administrative officer until Wednesday. It states that the plaintiffs have agreed to dismiss their claims, which “forever ends the Litigation.” The agreement is not to be taken “as an admission of liability by the County Defendants,” the document states.
In a statement, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. said the county is committed to “doing right by the family of Korryn Gaines and this resolution is an important step towards closure and healing for our community.”
“We also recognize Baltimore County’s ongoing work to advance equity and improve accountability,” said Olszewski, a Democrat. “While we have made tremendous progress, we also recognize that more work remains, which is why our administration continues our efforts to rebuild trust, ensure accountable policing, and build a more just future for every resident.”
Earlier this week, attorney J. Wyndal Gordon, who represents some members of the family included in the settlement, called the agreement “a very amicable and responsible settlement.”
“We took into account the legal challenges as well as the humanity of Korryn Gaines, understanding that both sides had to give up a little,” he said.
County police officers initially went to Gaines’ apartment to serve warrants on her and her fiance. Gaines’ warrant was for an alleged failure to appear in court for charges stemming from a traffic stop.
Baltimore Sun reporter Phillip Jackson contributed to this article