7th Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Polk County Liable

Stillwater, MN: On Friday, May 15, 2020, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals AFFIRMED a 2017 jury verdict finding Polk County liable in the innumerable jail assaults perpetrated by its correctional officer over a three-year period.

“Darryl Christensen’s long-term abuse of J.K.J. and M.J.J. more than justified the jury’s verdict against him. And the jury was furnished with sufficient evidence to hold Polk County liable, not on the basis of Christensen’s horrific acts, but rather the County’s own deliberate choice to stand idly by while the female inmates under its care were exposed to an unmistakable risk that they would be sexually assaulted – a choice that was a moving force behind the harm inflicted on J.K.J. and M.J.J. The jury so concluded, and we AFFIRM.”

The case, which originally went to trial in 2017, awarded two Eckberg Lammers clients a total of $11.5 million in damages after finding that Polk County and former jailer, Darryl L. Christensen violated their U.S. Constitutional Rights when Christensen sexually assaulted them as inmates at the Polk County Jail. The case navigated through the court system eventually resulting in a rehearing en banc before the Seventh Circuit Court in December of 2019 resulting in Friday’s affirmation.

If you have questions in relation to this case, please contact lead attorneys Thomas Weidner or Lida Bannink at 651-439-2878.

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 and commercial, and municipal practice areas.

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