Skip to Content

City of Madison to pay more than $4 million to family of woman shot by police in 2014

MADISON (WKOW) — The city of Madison will pay a $4.25 million settlement to the family of Ashley DiPiazza, who was shot and killed in her home by Madison police in 2014, according to court documents.

The family brought a civil rights lawsuit against the officers who shot Ashley on May 18, 2014, when she was 26 years old, according to Jeff Scott Olson, counsel for the DiPiazza family.

Officers shot and killed the woman after responding to a domestic disturbance, during which DiPiazza reportedly was armed with a gun and failed to comply with former Madison police officer Justin Bailey and current officer Gary Pihlaja.

Olson says the case was tried in federal court in Madison, and in July of 2017 the jury returned a verdict against Bailey and Pihlaja for $4 million in compensatory damages and an additional $1.5 million against each officer in punitive damages.

The case has been pending before the trial Judge William Conley for his decisions on post-trial motions filed by the city’s attorneys since then, according to Olson.

Olson says as part of the settlement, the case has been terminated and the family will settle for a total of $4.25 million, paid by the city.

The DiPiazza family counsel released the following statement:

“The jury made a powerful statement through its verdict, but our court system builds in several time-consuming stages of review before a judgment is final and damages are paid over. Here, the jury returned its verdict in July of 2017 and the case was still pending on motions before the trial judge nearly two years later. There certainly would have been an appeal to the Court of Appeals and after that there probably would have been a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, so the DiPiazza family was facing another year or more of delay before all appeals were exhausted by the City. They wanted closure. It is their hope that, with the conclusion of the litigation, all parties involved will be able to come together to heal and find peace.”

The officers were cleared of any criminal charges in the shooting.

Jenna Graham

Weekend Assignment Editor

Skip to content