Beltrami County, Mend, ordered to pay $2.6 million in wrongful death suit

Beltrami County and Mend Correctional Care were ordered to pay $2.6 million over the death of Hardel Sherrell in the County Jail in 2018.

The federal wrongful death suit was filed in 2019 by Sherrell’s mother, Del Shea Perry.

Sherrell died of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disorder that causes the immune system to attack nerves that ultimately leads to paralysis. Sherrell’s pleas for help while in jail were ignored by both correctional officers and Mend healthcare providers within the jail.

Mend Correctional Care’s CEO and main medical officer Dr. Todd Leonard has faced a number of lawsuits as well as a medical license suspension since Sherrell’s death, as well as county facilities dropping Mend as their contracted correctional care provider, including Beltrami.

Beltrami County and its insurer have agreed to pay $500,000, with the remaining $2.1 million being paid by Mend.

Larissa Donovan was the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016, through July 2023. She covered all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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