United States Supreme Court Denies Polk County, Wisconsin’s Cert to Hear Case of J.K.J, et. al. v. Polk County

January 12, 2021 - Stillwater, MN: Yesterday morning, the United States Supreme Court filed an order rejecting Defendant Polk County’s Petition for Review in J.K.J., et. al v. Polk County. This final denial means the Supreme Court will not hear Polk County’s appeal of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’, en banc decision, bringing to an end years of litigation over the sexual assault of two Polk County inmates and Polk County’s liability arising from these assaults.

This case was originally tried to jury in 2017 in the Western District of Wisconsin. The jury awarded two Eckberg Lammers’ clients a total of $11.5 million in damages after finding Polk County and its former jailer, Darryl L. Christensen, violated their rights under the United States Constitution when Christensen sexually assaulted them as inmates at the Polk County Jail. Polk County and Darryl Christensen appealed the jury verdict. In May of 2020, the Seventh Circuit in an en banc panel, upheld the verdict against Polk County, finding it knew of the risk of sexual assault to its inmates and in the face of that knowledge, did nothing. The Seventh Circuit noted: “And with red lights flashing, Polk County chose the one unavailable option [to prevent sexual assault to its inmates] – doing nothing.” After its unsuccessful appeal, Polk County petitioned for review by the United States Supreme Court, resulting in today’s decision.

Our clients were grievously harmed while in the custody and care of Polk County. Throughout this entire process, Polk County has refused to acknowledge the harm caused by its jail culture that allowed a predator to assault inmates, undetected for years. Our clients’ courage in coming forward to share their experiences and fight for more than six years for justice is nothing short of heroic. Their heroism will have a nation-wide impact and will prevent others from similar abuses at the hands of a corrections officer.

For more information regarding this case, please contact lead attorneys Thomas Weidner or Lida Bannink at (651) 439-2878.

About Eckberg Lammers, P.C.

Founded in 1949, Eckberg Lammers , P.C. is one of the most well-known law firms in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. With offices in Stillwater and Hudson, our attorneys serve clients throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin across a wide platform of individual, business, commercial, and municipal practice areas.

Media Contact: Dana Reynolds
Phone: 651-439-2878 | Fax: 651-439-2923

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