A Michigan woman has filed a lawsuit against a group home after an autopsy revealed that her aunt’s cause of death was starvation, The Washington Post reported.
While visiting last year, Charlene Jones noticed that her Aunt Bertha, who was physically and developmentally disabled, had lost weight. Jones says that the 71-year-old appeared more frail and that her face had sunken in. When she spoke with employees at Hoeft Home in Belleville, they reassured her that her aunt had been eating normally- three meals a day.
In April, Jones learned that her aunt was unresponsive in the hospital, and that her organs were shutting down. Her aunt’s weight had dropped to 72 pounds, a drastic 54 pounds less than what was recorded two months prior. Two weeks later, Bertha Jones sadly passed away. Her cause of death was protein-calorie malnutrition while under the care of Hoeft Home and its employees.
On the behalf of her family, Charlene Jones is now suing the group home and its staff. In the lawsuit seeking $25 million, Community Spirit Homes and Community Living Services, the company that operated the facility, is being accused of negligence, as well as inadequate training, staffing, and supervision. Though Hoeft Home has yet to release a statement, the with employees listed as defendants are no longer employees by them.
“If they would have taken care of my aunt, if they would have fed my aunt, my aunt would be living today,” Charlene Jones said. “No doubt about it.”