$25 Million Lawsuit Alleges Blind, Deaf 71-Year-Old Was Starved To Death At Group Home

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Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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The family of a blind, deaf and mute 71-year-old woman who allegedly died of starvation is reportedly suing the Wayne County group home in charge of her care.

The $25 million lawsuit alleges Hoeft House, a group home in Belleville, Michigan, allowed Bertha Jones to starve to death slowly, Local 4 reported Tuesday.

Jones died May 2, 2022, and reportedly lost more than 50 pounds over almost three months from lack of calories, weighing 75 pounds when she died, according to the outlet. The lawsuit alleges her official cause of death was protein-calorie malnutrition caused by Hoeft House.

The deceased’s niece, Charlene Jones, is suing Hoeft House and those in charge of her aunt, Local 4 reported. She told the outlet her aunt needed 24-hour care, including special puréed food. Charlene heard about her aunt’s alleged condition by a family member who called after she was admitted to the hospital with failing organs, according to the outlet.

“At that time, that is when I found out the condition that she was in,” Charlene told Local 4. “She had not eaten. She had lost drastic weight, and her organs were shutting down.”

Bertha allegedly weighed 126 pounds in February 2022, but by April, Charlene said she noticed her aunt had dramatically lost weight, the outlet reported. Bertha lost over 50 pounds in under three months, Local 4 reported. (RELATED: Maryland Democrat Files Bill To Stop Charging Anyone Under 25 With Felony Murder)

Hoeft House told the hospital Bertha was eating on a regular basis, according to the family’s attorney, Albert Dib, Local 4 reported.

“There was no way she could be eating or could be found in the condition in the condition that she was in,” Dib told the outlet. “She died of protein-calorie malnutrition, which is death by starvation.”

The lawsuit names several staff members, according to the report. All defendants working at Hoeft House at the time of the alleged starvation are no longer working at the group home, according to Local 4.

The Daily Caller was unable to reach the group home for comment by the time of publication.