Veterinary assistant sues Mooney Animal Hospital over lemur attacks

By John Suayan | Apr 4, 2016

A veterinary assistant is suing her employer on claims a ring-tailed lemur under its care attacked her on two occasions, recent Galveston County court records show.

In her lawsuit filed March 31 in the Galveston County 10th District Court, Rachel Lemire alleges that Mooney Animal Hospital, LLC, doing business as Safari Veterinary Care Centers, in League City kept the lemur, or “Zippy” as it is known, on the premises in an enclosure during business hours.

Zippy purportedly bit multiple individuals at the premises during normal business hours, including clients, employees and an attorney who was investigating a claim for personal injuries by another person who had been bitten by the former.

Lemire herself was assaulted by Zippy on Nov. 21, 2014 and Jan. 6, 2015, the suit says.

It further asserts that the most recent incident involved the creature breaking out of its enclosure and running to the front of the clinic and into the lab area where the complainant was filling vaccines.

“Zippy then bit and clawed at the plaintiff’s face, attacking her eyes and ears,” the original petition states.

Court documents add Lemire’s superiors, Steven Dale Garner and Susan Mooney, attempted to have her sign a release of liability rendering them not responsible for her injuries in exchange for $750 to which she refused. Garner and Mooney are also defendants in the case.

“The plaintiff learned from other employees of the defendant Safari that Zippy had bitten at least two other people before attacking her,” the suit says.

Consequently, Lemire seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

She is represented by attorneys Chad Pinkerton and Joshua R. Hilbe of The Pinkerton Law Firm, PLLC in Houston.

Galveston County 10th District Court Case No. 16-CV-0386

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