Friday, March 2nd, 2007 at 10:57 am in Uncategorized.
A third civil suit in a week was filed Monday against the Peninsula Humane Society and their captain of field services, Debi DeNardi.
Mohammad “Moe” and Farzanea Olfat, the owners of Laurelwood Pets on West Hillsdale Boulevard in San Mateo, are suing for a rash of grievances stemming from a seizure of nearly 200 pets from their store in August. Fish, rodents, birds, rabbits and other small animals (like the fire-bellied toad pictured here) for sale in the store were taken after a search – according to the society – uncovered animals living in dirty cages, rodents being fed improper food, feces in food containers and fish without adequate water.
The search was conducted by DeNardi and San Mateo County probation officers under the terms of Olfat’s probation. Last March, Olfat was placed on supervised probation for selling sick dogs and cats. As part of the plea agreement, Olfat was ordered to not sell dogs and cats, but was allowed to sell small animals. He was ordered to pay restitution to people who purchased the sick animals, serve 14 days in the county jail, pay a $1,100 fine and clean up his pet store.
The suit claims that the course of affairs caused Moe Olfat to suffer a serious stroke in May that has left him blind in his right eye. It further claims that the Olfat’s business – which they’ve owned for 12 years – has been decimated since they have no pets left to sell, and that their good name has been tarnished in the media. The store remains open to sell pet food and supplies.
The Olfats are suing DeNardi and the society for defamation, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, wrongful conversion of property, deprivation of due process and abuse of process. They are further suing the society for negligent hiring and retention of DeNardi, who has come under fire for a previous felony charge from the’90s of taking nearly $96,000 from her own family’s Floortrends store in San Francisco. A charge also was filed by Farzanea Olfat for loss of consortium because she “has now lost the comfort, companionship and financial support of her husband because of the acts complained of herein.”
The two join Tammy Doukas and Janet Wherry, who filed suits against DeNardi, the county and the society on Feb. 20. Doukas claims her dog was wrongly euthanized at San Mateo Animal Hospital under DeNardi’s watch. Wherry claims that DeNardi wrongfully seized animals from her Half Moon Bay ranch. Wherry faces jury trial in April for improper care and keeping of a sheep on her ranch that was discovered by the society covered with maggots and open wounds. See related post.
All plaintiffs are represented by San Francisco trial attorney Mark Webb, who deals primarily in medical malpractice and product liability. Webb recently sued Wal-Mart and Dynacraft Industries on behalf of nine children for selling defective bicycles.