After failing to show up to two hearings for the wrongful death lawsuit filed by his girlfriend Bobbi Kristina Brown‘s estate, Nick Gordon was found legally responsible “by default” for her death and held in contempt of court Friday morning.
According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Judge T. Jackson Bedford of Fulton County did not reach the judgment by considering the facts of the case. Rather, Gordon was found liable for Brown’s death – and up to $50 million in damages plus attorney fees – because he failed to respond or appear in court for his civil hearings.
“In court today, we finally finished a long journey for justice for Bobbi Kristina Brown,” Brown’s estate attorney R. David Ware said in a press conference outside of the court. “The court agrees with us, by striking Mr. Gordon’s answer that he is legally responsible for her death. The only thing left to prove is the value of her life. We intend to do that.”
Brown’s father Bobby Brown also released a statement to PEOPLE, saying he is “pleased with the outcome of today’s court proceedings.”
“All I ever wanted was answers relating to who and what caused my daughter’s death,” said Bobby in the statement. “Today’s judgment tells me it was Nick Gordon. Now I need to process all the emotions I have and lean on God to get me and my family though this.”
Gordon – who has vehemently denied the allegations over the last year – has not responded to a request for comment.
Gordon has never been criminally charged in Brown’s death, but a source in the Fulton County District Attorney’s office tells PEOPLE that the criminal investigation is “still ongoing.” A rep for Brown’s estate had no comment.
The court has also ordered a jury trial to determine damages in the case.
•Reporting by ELISSA ROSEN