Cedar Rapids attorney wins $3.5 million settlement for jail loss of life

Mason City person died in Cerro Gordo Co. jail due to neglect of treatment

Cedar Rapids attorney wins .5 million settlement for jail loss of life

Dave O’Brien (courtesy photo)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids attorney stated he hopes more Iowa nearby governments follow the guide of Cerro Gordo County officers, who didn’t address up wrongdoing and recognized responsibility for a male who died in jail.

Dave O’Brien explained the 4 young children of Ricky Christianson, 61, of Mason Town, hope the $3.5 million settlement with Cerro Gordo County can assist prevent one more demise owing to neglect of treatment though in a county jail.

O’Brien stated open up communication with protection lawyers resulted in a truthful resolution for all functions.

“This was a horrible, awful oversight, but at minimum, it’s not compounded by not admitting the wrongdoing or trying to address it up,” O’Brien instructed The Gazette Friday.

Lawyers for the county and other employees sued in November 2021 did not file any motions to dismiss or for summary judgment on certified immunity — preserving regulation enforcement accused of violating rights. Rather, they “acted quickly and properly to take care of the matter.”

In other equivalent wrongful death lawsuits O’Brien has dealt with, this doesn’t transpired, he explained. He is thinking about filing three related lawsuits — none in Linn County.

“Too normally other localities attempt to deal with up wrongdoing and refuse to confess when legislation enforcement officers violate peoples’ civil rights,” O’Brien famous. “This type of reaction just encourages more wrongful perform and far more lawsuits as a result.”

“This (case) offers the (Christianson loved ones) terrific self confidence that this sort of a blunder is highly unlikely to be repeated,” O’Brien added.

O’Brien mentioned the surveillance video clip taken from the jail aided show what occurred Nov. 18, 2020, when Christianson died.

Christianson was arrested and booked into the Cerro Gordo Jail Nov. 17, 2020, on a warrant for a parole violation on his conviction for violating the intercourse offender registry needs for second time.

Christianson told deputies he was being taken care of for existence-threatening seizures relevant to alcoholism and that he experienced had a seizure the past day.

Surveillance footage showed Christianson began obtaining seizures Nov. 18 and he was moved to a padded solitary cell, O’Brien claimed. He was discovered useless an hour and a half later on when an personnel checked on him.

The employees stated they performed online video evaluation checks of him whilst in the mobile but did not physically look at his cell for an hour and a 50 %.

O’Brien reported he wanted to thank Christianson’s young children — Samantha Christianson Bashir, Cody Bashir, Cody Christianson and Zachariah Halvorson — for the “honor and privilege of symbolizing them.” He also thanked Ben Novotny and Nick Rowley of Demo Legal professionals for Justice who have law offices in Des Moines and Decorah, for their expertise on the situation.

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