Katie Bennett is a civil trial lawyer with an active practice in federal and state courts. A skillful advocate at all stages of the proceedings, she focuses her practice on the prosecution of federal civil rights matters, including jail suicides, police shootings, and excessive force cases, as well as personal injury actions where individuals have suffered serious injury or death.
In 2014, Katie was named an “Attorney of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer for her role on the Kucera Trial Team. She was also named a “Rising Star” from 2015-2019 by Super Lawyers. In 2019, Katie played an integral role in the multi-million dollar settlement in the Rusczcyk v. Noor matter.
A four-time letter winner and former captain of the St. Olaf College hockey team, Katie likes to mix it up. She is successful both in and out of court and has been instrumental in securing millions of dollars for deserving clients. Katie is always looking for new challenges both on and off the ice.
$20 million; Ruszczyk v. Noor, et al. U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota (2019): On July 15, 2017, Justine Maia Ruszczyk was murdered by Mohamed Mohamed Noor, a Minneapolis Police officer. Justine had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alleyway behind her home in the Fulton neighborhood of Minneapolis. Justine was murdered in the same alleyway. She was barefoot and wearing pink pajamas. She had not committed any crime. She had not displayed any aggression. She was unarmed. She posed no threat to Noor or his partner, Matthew Harrity, or anyone else on the scene. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)
$2 million; Nass v. Cass County U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota (2019): Federal civil rights wrongful death regarding the suicide of Darren H. Benais, Sr. who ingested windshield washer fluid while in a Cass County transport van – a fact known by numerous Cass County correctional officers. Despite the knowledge, none of the COs did anything to address Mr. Benais’s ingestion of the toxic fluid. Instead, Mr. Benais was left where he fell on the floor of his cell, writhing in pain until his death. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)
$350,000; Olsen v. Roddy U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota (2018): Trevor Olesen suffered a prolonged police K9 attack on May 26, 2016 that resulted in gaping wounds to his right leg. A portion of the K9 attack was captured by drone. The drone video shows Olesen being viciously attacked by K9 Jax, who was deployed on Olesen by Defendant Roddy, a K9 handler and police officer with the City of Fridley. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)
$2 million; Baker v. City of St. Paul, et al. U. S. District Court, District of Minnesota (2017): On June 25, 2016, Frank Baker was viciously attacked by Paul Police officer Ficcadenti’s police K9 and kicked three times in the ribs by officer Palkowitsch, while he was trying to comply with the officers’ orders. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)
$1.75 million; Sieff v. City of Chaska, et al. U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota (2017): On February 7, 2014 Dawn Marie Pfister was shot and killed by Brady Juell of the Chaska Police Department after obtaining a small folding knife with a 3 ¼ inch blade from Matthew Serbus who had held her hostage and menaced her with the same knife. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)
$1.45 million; Baxter-Knutson v Stearns County & MEnD Correctional Care, et al. U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota (2016): Federal civil rights action brought on behalf of the next of kin of Kyle Allan Baxter-Jensen, who committed suicide at the Stearns County Jail in December of 2010 after previously attempting suicide within the same period of confinement and through the same means – self-inflicted neck wounds using a jail-issued razor. (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP)
- “$2 million settlement reached in Cass County inmate death,” KSTP (March 7, 2019)
- “Anoka County Commissioners Settle Lawsuit Over Police K-9 Bite,” KSTP (September 17, 2018)
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