Mr. Ring pursues auction house on behalf of elderly Simi Valley woman

(FOX 11) - At 94-years-old, Simi Valley resident Phyllis Roberts still has a passion for dolls.

She spent most of her life accumulating a rare collection that filled up three cupboards in her home.

"My dolls meant something," Roberts said.

Dolls were a way of life for Roberts.

She helped put out a collectors magazine as part of a women's doll club

She even traveled the world with her husband buying dolls from all different countries.

"I didn't buy stuff because it was available I bought because I loved them," she said.

But three years ago Roberts made the difficult decision to give up her beloved collection.

"My husband died and I was alone and I knew that I would have to take care of myself," she said.

Roberts planned to use the sale of her dolls to help pay for her nursing home care.

She sought out the auction house Theriault's, which on it's website said, it "specialized exclusively in the appraisal and auction of antique dolls" over it's 45 year history.

"Theriault's has had a wonderful reputation and that reputation is what I went on," Roberts said.

Roberts said she signed a contract with the company to auction 64 of her most valueable dolls.

She priced the collection at over $100,000, but as the years went Roberts said she never saw a dime from the company.

Roberts wonders what exactly happened to her dolls.

She said some of them appeared in an auction catalog for Theriault's, a French doll valued at $4500 and this German doll for $2000.

Roberts doesn't know if the dolls were ever sold.

Struggling to pay for her nursing home and frustrated with the lack of communication from the company, the doll collector and her family decided to hire a law firm to file suit against Theriault's.

"There's been no accounting, there's been no sale at least none that she knows of, there's been no return of the dolls, there's been nothing," Bart Ring, Attorney for Phyllis Roberts, said.

The lawsuit alleges elder abuse, fraud, decit and breach of contract -among other offenses.

A lawyer for Theriault's responded stating "all of the allegations in the complaint are false."

Roberts said she just wants her dolls back because losing them has cost her so much more.

"My husband's gone, the dolls are gone and life is different."

FOX 11 called the company directly on Monday and a woman representing Theriault's said she was preparing the accounting for Roberts and was sending her a check.

As of Thursday night, Roberts hadn't received any payment.

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