A woman is suing a wealthy Upper East Side couple who she claims brought her from Chile using an illegal passport and treated like a slave for years. According to 50-year-old Carmen Villanueava Garnica, 35-year-old Micky Hurley and 28-year-old Malu Cluster Edwards paid her under $2 an hour and let their three children beat her without any consequences.
The lawsuit claims that Hurley and Edwards lured her to America with the false promise of $10 per hour, housing, food, clothing, medical care and health insurance. She said she was compensated $800 monthly for working 12-hour days and basically held hostage inside of the apartment. She alleged that one of the kids hit her with a chair while another slammed her head into the refrigerator with such force that she nearly passed out.
She reportedly first met the family when she was assigned to them during a trip to Chile in December 2010. However, when they returned to New York the following month, Garnica claims everything changed. She was allegedly denied food and the children began attacking her. She tried to escape, but the Chilean Consulate was closed because it was President's Day. She finally ended up leaving a month later after her head was rammed into the refrigerator.
Two years ago, the couple was ordered to pay $6,302 in back pay by the Department of Labor.