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Widow Says Walgreens Imprisoned Her Husband

ORLANDO, Fla. (CN) — A Florida woman claims her husband's unlawful imprisonment in a local Walgreens store caused him severe emotional distress that led to his death.

As recounted in a lawsuit filed by Maria Elizarraras in the Orange County Circuit Court, on Oct. 15, 2012, her 69-year-old husband Fernando used a Walgreens restroom in Orlando and, as he attempted to leave the store, was told by store employees to "stop walking and wait for us."

Elizarraras says the employees then ordered her husband to follow them back to the bathroom where they said, "you have to clean the bathroom because you left a mess, shit all over the bathroom."

"Walgreens, with the purpose of imposing a confinement in the restroom facilities of the Premises against Fernando's will, imprisoned Fernando and forced him to clean the restroom facilities and mop the floor," the complaint says.

Elizarraras' wife says her husband, a regular Walgreens customer whose various physical ailments were known to store employees, was held against his will for about 20 minutes. During that time, she says, he was "humiliated, disgraced and injured in his feelings, emotionally and mentally."

The complaint does not say how Fernando Elizarraras later died or when, but Maria Elizarraras says Walgreens is entirely responsible for what happened to him.

"Walgreens' conduct was intentional and reckless, outrageous ... [and] caused Fernando emotional distress and the emotional distress was severe that resulted in the death of Fernando," the complaint says.

She seeks unspecified damages on claims of false imprisonment, intentional infliction of severe emotional distress, and loss of consortium.

Elizarraras is represented by Richard Valle of The Valle Law Firm.

Representatives of Walgreens did not immediately respond to a request for comment e-mailed Thursday.

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