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86-year-old veteran can't use rec center, files lawsuit against HOA

Posted at 12:03 AM, Oct 27, 2017

An 86-year-old military veteran is taking legal action against her homeowner's association after she was banned from using certain facilities. 

Mary Jane Hillery is a retired lieutenant colonel living in Sun City Anthem in Henderson with her son. She suffers from dementia. 

A lawsuit states Hillery was using a hot tub at a recreation center operated by the Sun City Anthem Community Association when she forgot how long she'd been in the hot water. She became dehydrated and was rushed to the emergency room. 

The lawsuit alleges Hillery was banned from the spa after the incident. A series of events afterward led to her being banned from the recreation center entirely unless she is accompanied by a caregiver.

"I think that's overdoing it," Hillery said. 

Hillery's attorney Nick Donath claims the ban violates her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act. 

"She can't possibly comply with it because she can't remember that she's under the ban," Donath said. 

The Board of the Sun City Anthem Community Association issued the following statement to 13 Action News: 

"The Board at Sun City Anthem Community Association has always attempted to come to an equitable solution with the Hillerys. 

However, Mr. Hillery refused to take responsibility for the care of his mother, Ms. Hillery. 

Mr. Hillery was always given the option of acting as his mother's caretaker and escorting her to the center. 

Instead, he chose to simply drop his mother off. He left her to fend for herself for hours at a time at the facility, leaving her care in the hands of the staff. 

The center is not an adult day care facility. It is simply not staffed to ensure the health and safety of Ms. Hillery, who by their own admission suffers from significant dementia." 

Donath claims the Board's statement includes inaccuracies. He added that it is unreasonable to expect Mr. Hillery to escort his mother every time she wishes to spend time at the recreation center.