Guy named Daniel Felice was doing some work in Chesapeake last summer when, he says, a squirrel bit and scratched him.
The squirrel ran off into a house in the Great Bridge area owned by a couple named Paul and Deborah Desjardin who, he says, were keeping the squirrel as a pet.
How badly was Felice hurt?
Well, he filed a lawsuit in Chesapeake Circuit Court against the Desjardins, seeking $90,000, according to a report in The Virginian-Pilot.
Their defense: Whatever legal document you file to say, “Not our squirrel, man.”
Paul Desjardin spoke to a reporter at the Pilot and told her that the squirrel was indeed a resident of their neighborhood and they fed it. But it “never was controlled by us.”
OK, now their defense is wandering into respondeat superior territory.
“We never had a pet squirrel,” Paul said.
The lawsuit presents a different back story, claiming the couple’s dog brought the squirrel to their door this spring, and that Deborah adopted the animal, fed it and provided medical care.
Not sure how Felice got these details, but he claims that Deborah would get a squirrel peck on the lips as if “giving her a kiss.”
Maybe there was a private investigator involved.
After the squirrel attack on Felice, a game department officer came after Deborah Desjardin, charging her with unlawful possession of wildlife, a misdemeanor.
The case went to court, and a General District judge dismissed the charges.
The Desjardins’ insurance company is handling the lawsuit, Paul said, but they want to use the criminal finding as squirrel judicata.
“We’ve already proven the fact that this wasn’t our squirrel,” Paul said. “It’s not a pet.”