ORLANDO, FL — Grieving widow Maria Elizarraras has filed suit against Walgreens over a 2012 incident in which her husband, Fernando Elizarraras, 69, had an “accident” in the Walgreens bathroom, whereupon employees allegedly forced him to stay in the toilet area for 20 minutes and mop up after himself.
The suit claims that a Walgreens worker publicly said, “You left a mess, [expletive] all over the bathroom” and said that Mr. Elizarraras would not be allowed to leave until he cleaned up the bathroom.
From there, the lawsuit directly blames the event for causing Fernando’s death by leaving him “humiliated, disgraced, and injured in his feelings, emotionally and mentally.”
What the suit does not specify is how much time lapsed between the bathroom showdown and when Mr. Elizarraras died. Four years definitely did pass between Fernando’s death and the recent filing of the lawsuit.
Legal analyst Belvin Perry told WFTV, “In all my years in the court system, this is new to me, never seen it. We need to know how cleaning a bathroom led to a death, it’s just an allegation with no specificity.”
Perry did point out that store employees cannot force a customer to clean any area of the business against the customer’s will, so an argument for “false imprisonment” might be “compelling.”
Mrs. Elizarraras has indicated she’s willing to settle for $500,000. If Walgreens is unwilling to pay that amount, she says she’ll go forward, and the case will be in federal court, as opposed to Florida state court.
Main photo: Walgreen’s bathroom [WFTV video/screenshot]