Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Cuyahoga County Sheriff

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CLEVELAND – A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the Cuyahoga County Sheriff, and others, in connection with the death of a jail inmate.

The suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland. It was filed by Linda Ruffin, the mother of jail inmate Robert Sharp, who died in the Cuyahoga County jail last March.
According to the suit, the defendants failed to provide Sharp adequate medical care consistent with community standards.

“Despite their knowledge of the heroin epidemic and habits of heroin users, defendants failed to provide Mr. Sharp with adequate medical treatment and adequate correctional observation and care,” the suit states.  Given the historical absence of timely and unbiased investigations by the county into the wrongful death’s of prisoners within the custody, control and care of corrections staff, medical staff and nursing staff at the Cuyahoga County jail, the family demands the investigation into the death of Robert Sharp be conducted by the Ohio Attorney Generaland BCI,”  said Atty. David Malik, who filed the suit on behalf of Sharp’s mother,” Linda Ruffin.

“A thorough investigation is long overdue. There is a fundamental lack of
staff accountability and even wrongdoers are rarely disciplined. I can go way back to the wrongful death of Sean Levert and tell you with certainty that in all these years, the county has still failed to adequately change its wrongful death investigative policies when there is the death of a prisoner. There is little or no consideration by the county to help families of deceased prisoner reach closure. The county has even eliminated the position of grief counselor at the Medical Examiners office.”

We reached out to the county for response to the lawsuit but have not yet received a statement.

The suit further states, the Sharp was placed in solidarity confinement and was not checked on or given proper medical care.