Squirrel Dinner Could Cost Woman $2M

It probably wasn't worth it
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2016 11:15 AM CDT
Squirrel Dinner Could Cost Woman $2M
This squirrel escaped such a fate.   (Felix Kaestle/dpa via AP)

Would you pay $2 million for an elegant dish of blowtorch-seared squirrel? Barbara Pellow might not have a choice. According to a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling last week, Pellow's boyfriend, Khek Chanthalavong, was using a blowtorch to burn fur off a squirrel he planned to eat when he left the blowtorch unattended on Pellow's wooden deck for 15 minutes in October 2012, reports WZZM. He returned to find a fire that ripped through Pellow's apartment building in Holland Township, damaging 32 units and destroying dozens of residents' personal effects.

A court initially ordered Pellow to pay $15,400 in damages. However, justices ruled last Wednesday that she may have to pay up to $2 million to cover costs paid by an insurance company, per WWMT. While the, um, barbeque was banned under Pellow's rental agreement, she argued the contract was "never explained to her." The justices countered that landlords aren't required to "read and explain" rental agreements to tenants and found Pellow liable for the "fur-burning escapade," even though Chanthalavong was the one doing the cooking. (A squirrel caused $300,000 in damage in Indiana.)

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