DEMING, N.M. (KRQE) – World War II widow, Charlotte House, and American Legion Bataan Post No. 4 would seem like unlikely adversaries, but a contentious court fight has House claiming she’s owed big.
It started last year when House filed a state lawsuit against the Deming-based American Legion Post.
House’s attorney Raul Carrillo Jr. tells News 13 that she had worked there cleaning bathrooms for about five to six years, only being paid $10 a day.
“She speaks English as a second language,” said Carrillo Jr. in a phone interview. “They took advantage of her.”
Although House is claiming she was owed at least minimum wage, the Post has a different story. It claims in court filings that House was a volunteer, not an employee, and that the $10 a day she was given was to reimburse her for gas, not a salary.
Although Carrillo Jr. says the two sides nearly agreed to a $10,000 settlement, that negotiation fell apart.
Now House’s attorneys are claiming the Post owes their client $266,920.80 for unpaid wages, damages and attorney costs.
American Legion Bataan Post No. 4 filed for bankruptcy in September and continues to fight House’s claim.
The Post’s attorney, Michael Daniels, told News 13 he was unavailable for comment on the case on Wednesday.
Both sides are expected back in bankruptcy court in mid-August to discuss a possible settlement deal.