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Date: 10-25-2021

Case Style:

Estate of Seth Franco v. City of Boulder, Sgt. Kristi Peterson, Detective Ashly Flynn and officers Dillon Garretson and Stephen Coon

Case Number: 1:19-cv-02634-MEH

Judge: Michael E. Hegarty

Court: United States District Court for the District of Colorado

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: David M. Goddard, Luis Angel Toro, Michael Turner Lowe, Sandra Llanes, Thomas Aquinas Carr

Description: Denver, Colorado personal injury lawyers represented Plaintiffs, who sued Defendants on civil rights violation theories claiming that Boulder police Sgt. Kristi Peterson, Detective Ashly Flynn and officers Dillon Garretson and Stephen Coon unlawfully arrested Seth Franco.

Plaintiff claimed that the officers knowingly violated Seth Franco's civil rights when they arrested him because of an officer's grudge against him because of an earlier case.

“Because of BPD’s custom, pattern, and practice of not properly training and supervising its officers with respect to its own policy and procedures governing arrestable offenses, (officers) were able to use an ostensible probation violation as a ruse in order to arrest someone they disliked, and the other responding officers participated in effecting that arrest,” the complaint read.

“We appreciate the hard work of the seven federal jurors who got it right,” Franco’s attorneys said in a statement. “Citizens of Boulder should be very disturbed that the city continues to deny any wrongdoing and takes no responsibility for the police officers’ heartbreaking mistreatment of a young man with emotional trauma and brain injuries.

“The city has known of this unconstitutional misconduct since 2018, when a Boulder district judge found the officers had violated Seth Franco’s constitutional rights. The city made no changes to police training and even worse, continues the same unconstitutional practices that led to this lawsuit.”

“The city and the Boulder Police Department are extremely disappointed in this verdict,” city spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said in the statement. “We argued at trial and continue to believe this search and seizure was lawful. Mr. Franco was not convicted of any crime related to this search and seizure, as the charges were dropped. There were no allegations of excessive use of force. The city will appeal.”

Outcome: Plaintiffs' verdict for $3.41 million.

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