LAS CRUCES, N.M. (CN) – A 77-year-old woman who spent eight days trapped in her bathroom, sleeping on a towel and surviving on water from her denture cup, sued the company that sold her the mobile home and the park that rented her space for it.
Margaret Owens bought a refurbished mobile home from Good Time Homes and leased space for it from Trails West, both of Las Cruces. She moved in in June 2014, and on the morning of Oct. 14 that year, she entered the bathroom and “for the first time since she had moved into the residence, [she] closed the bathroom door.”
And there she stayed for eight days, until firemen and police rescued her on Oct. 21.
In her Nov. 10 lawsuit in Dona Ana County Court, Owens describes “twisting, turning and pulling the knob as forcefully as her strength would allow,” pounding on the door, and even trying to dig through the door with a metal nail file to reach the locking mechanism.
With only a single small decorative window in the room, Owens pounded on the walls and screamed for help, but no help came for eight long days. Trapped in the bathroom without food, Owens drank water from the plastic container she used to store her dentures, slept on the tile floor on a towel, and called for help as long as her strength allowed her.
She prepared herself to die, physically weakening day by day, in “extreme emotional distress.” She was rescued only because she had not called a family member for those eight days, “which was unusual” for her.
When she did not answer her phone, a relative asked Las Cruces Police to do a welfare check. Police and firemen “rescued her by breaking in the front door to her residence and the bathroom door.”
She sued Good Time Homes for negligence, breach of duty, breach of implied warranty and pain and suffering, and the mobile home park for negligence and joint liability.
She is represented by Richard Wellborn of Las Cruces.
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