"Book a room near an ice machine when on the road with penguins" and Other Bits of Wise Advice Leading to Lawsuits


At Overlawyered, guest blogger of Crispy on the Outside Baylen Linnekin (yes, that Testicle Festival guy) reports on a bizarre legal case involving a traveling zoo, alligator dander (or something), penguins, and a Hampton Inn:

A Miami area maid is suing her employer, Hampton Inn, in federal court there, claiming she was forced to clean up after hotel guests who defecated and urinated on floors, left feathers strewn about, and emitted allergenic dander. The guests included "Maya the spider monkey, Bob the alligator, Tango the Macaw", and two lemurs, along with their human handlers. The multispecies group all stayed at the Hampton Inn at Miami Airport hotel for about a week while in town as part of a traveling zoo.

Interesting notes about the case include 1) a filing showing a training manual created by Busch Gardens, which had hired the traveling zoo, sensibly suggesting animal handlers "[b]ook a room near an ice machine when on the road with penguins"; and 2) plaintiff Arlin Valdez-Castillo's claim to have been kidnapped and driven to a cemetery by two men who pressured her to drop the lawsuit. (Douglas Hanks, "Traveling zoo at hotel made me sick, maid says", Miami Herald, Sept. 24).

More here.

The moral of the story? There isn't one, I suppose. Or this: Don't just stay at a Holiday Inn Express; work there too.