A contractor, I presume that he is a maintenance contractor, has filed a lawsuit against the owner of an apartment in a condominium in downtown Tampa, Florida, USA, for damages as a result of an attack by a bobcat whilst he was in the apartment alone. The apartment is on the 18th floor!
My first impression is that the man concerned, his name is Marcos Hernandez, is being taken for a ride by his attorney who is know doubt charging him a substantial fee to run the lawsuit on his behalf. His attorney should know better because he is misleading his client. That is because this case is going to fall flat on its face at a very early stage because it is painfully obvious to anybody including a child that he was not attacked by a bobcat in a high-rise condominium in downtown Tampa.
What happened was the resident cat, a charming looking cat who appears to be a black tortoiseshell longhair, became agitated and scratched Mr Hernandez while he was in the flat alone and this was entirely predictable. It is something you might expect a domestic cat to do under these circumstances.
In other words, in my considered opinion, Mr Hernandez is the author of his own injuries. He is going to have to go to court to prove that this charming, fluffy domestic cat is actually a bobcat. In doing so he is going to look a fool and so is his lawyer. But his lawyer won’t mind because he’ll walk away with several thousands of dollars in fees.
I expect in fact the case not to get to court because it seems to me that Mr Hernandez is going for some sort of early monetary compensation from the flat owner, Christine Lee, by pressurising her through a lawsuit. She should resist firmly. If I was her I wouldn’t even bother appointing an attorney to act on my behalf. I would turn up in person at court if I had to and argue my case. In doing that she will save on her own expenses.
In addition, Hernandez is suing the Sky Point Condominium Association which I presume is the condominium’s management.
Who keeps a pet bobcat on the 18th floor of an apartment block in the middle of town? Christine Lee cannot understand how he mistook a domestic cat for a bobcat. They are completely different in appearance and the latter is far larger than the former. A bobcat is a medium-sized wild cat species and they don’t make pets. I don’t know anybody who has a bobcat as a pet.
There’s no question that Hernandez was scratched. The police were involved and they report that he was bleeding and taken to Tampa General Hospital.
Hernandez broke the condo rules by being in the apartment alone. He should have been in the apartment with the owner when the inspection was conducted. Either that or the cat should have be caged. Christine Lee did not expect the inspection to occur until late afternoon which is why she was not there.
The cat’s name is Calli and she has been vaccinated against rabies. Christine Lee was able to produce a certificate to that effect.
It is extraordinary that officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission attended the apartment to look into the matter. No doubt they had a smile on their face when they saw Calli.
There’s not much more to say. The key issue is that Mr Hernandez is being very foolish while his attorney is being greedy.
Source: various inc. Tampa Bay Times.