The widow of a prominent Roswell, New Mexico businessman and former Golden Glove boxer has filed a wrongful death claim in connection with the 2017 death of her husband, reports the Roswell Daily Record (https://www.rdrnews.com/2020/07/03/anaya-widow-files-wrongful-death-lawsuit/).
Lynda Anaya, widow of Raymond Anaya, filed the claim against the owners of a commercial and office building on West Second Street in the City of Roswell. She is seeking unspecified compensatory and actual damages in connection with her husband’s death.
According to the court filing, Mrs. Anaya is alleging that the building’s owners were negligent because they did not notify her or her deceased husband that there were known chemical contaminants near the building, despite the owners receiving notice of this issue from the government as early as 2012. The widow is contending that the contamination near the building is what led to Mr. Anaya’s death.
The Anayas rented office space in the building in question for ten years, from 2007 to 2017, for their tax service and gross receipts consultations business. According to the lawsuit, Mr. Anaya began to show serious symptoms in 2008, which eventually led to him going into a coma and dying.
The court documents state this building is owned by a Taylor Investments, Inc., and one of the requests in the lawsuit is for the court to hold all of the corporation’s beneficiaries responsible for what happened. Many of the corporate beneficiaries are from the King family, whom the Anayas knew personally. According to Mrs. Anaya, it was this personal connection that was part of their decision to rent office space in that building.
The office building in the center of this case is in an area known as the “Lea and West Second Street Superfund.” For many years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been in charge of environmental remediation and cleanup of locations like this site in the area. According to reports from the EPA, there are hazardous chlorinated solvents that got into the groundwater by the office building, and these hazards could also be detected in vapor form in nearby air samples. The contaminants have been linked by the EPA to chemical leakage from area dry cleaners.
Mrs. Anaya contends that a dry-cleaning business in the building knew back in 2007 that New Mexico was concerned about contaminants. In September of 2012, she alleges the building’s owners were notified by the EPA that they were in a Superfund site.
The Anaya’s first learned of the environmental pollutants in early 2017 but were not aware of how serious it was until the fall of 2017, which prompted them to leave the building.
A local high school graduate, Raymond Anaya was 73 when he died. He and Lynda have had five sons, and he was known throughout the city for his work, his time as a Golden Gloves boxer, and his involvement with several area charities, including Job Corps, the Salvation Army and the League of United Latin American Citizens.