A former tenant at Sunset Lake Resort & RV Park south of Warrenton has filed a lawsuit against the owner alleging negligence over living conditions in a trailer.
Sandra Holloway, who moved into the RV park with her adult son in 2018, claims a property manager told her it was a “dry trailer” with no running water or an operable toilet. She said she was told to use a bucket and spigot next to her unit for water, and the park’s shared bathroom for a toilet and shower.
She claims the water from the spigot was dirty and cloudy and smelled of rotten eggs. She also said the water in the shared bathroom was dirty and smelled.
“The basic premise of the lawsuit is that Ms. Holloway, our client, had a right to dignified and habitable housing,” said Jamie Trinkle, an attorney for the Oregon Law Center. “Every tenant has a right to dignified and habitable housing, even in low-cost housing, even in housing of last resort. And the defendants did not provide that to Ms. Holloway and arguably to other tenants.”
Ken Hick, of Resources Northwest Inc., the owner of the mobile home park, could not be reached for comment.
The lawsuit describes harrowing conditions inside the trailer.
Holloway said the front door did not lock, the stairs were unstable, the windows did not shut, and the floor was falling through in the kitchen, living room and bedroom. She also claims there was mold in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.
She said she and her son were unable to stay warm because of insufficient electricity.
The lawsuit also claims the mobile home park ignored complaints that a neighbor soiled Holloway’s area while using a hose to dump feces, urine and toilet paper into Sunset Lake.
According to the lawsuit, Holloway’s monthly rent went from $525 to $550. After being informed rent would increase to $585 a month, she moved out last November.
She is seeking more than $555,000.
Within the past year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has deemed the mobile home park a “serious violator” over drinking water problems. The Oregon Health Authority has found that drinking water exceeds acceptable levels of trihalomethanes, the chemical reaction of disinfectants with natural organic matter in water. In the past, the mobile home park has been fined by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for sewage overflow.
Sunset Lake is also involved in another lawsuit that was filed last June alleging wrongful death and negligence involving George Bolles, who was burned alive when his trailer caught fire in 2018.
The lawsuit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, claims the mobile home park failed to maintain the trailer in a habitable condition or supply a smoke detector and other fire safety equipment. The suit is seeking nearly $1 million in damages.