Iowa County Pays $3.5 Million Settlement for Prisoner Death Following Seizure
Today, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa agreed to pay $3.5 million to the family of Ricky Christianson, a 59-year-old man who died at a county jail after suffering a seizure. Police arrested Christianson for a parole violation, but failed to bring his anti-seizure medication to the jail. Christianson told the officers during booking that he suffered from life-threatening seizures, including one the day prior to his arrest. Neither the police, nor the jail arranged for Christianson’s seizure medication. At 7 a.m. the next morning, Christianson had a seizure. Jail officials put Christianson in a padded cell, on the floor, and alone–for more than 90 minutes. Christianson was found dead on the cell floor nearly two hours later. Attorneys for the jail acknowledged that if correctional officers properly monitored Christianson after he suffered the seizure, his death could have been avoided.
This is the fourth settlement in as many years for Iowa prisoners who died because of failures to properly monitor their serious medical conditions.
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