Cubs president Theo Epstein is being sued by an Arizona couple after his dog allegedly "left a terrible odor and urine-stained carpeting" in a spring training home, according to the Phoenix New Times.
Epstein rented a home from John and Mary Valentino in March 2015, bringing his wife, kids and 10-pound dog, Winston. The Valentinos' suit claims Epstein's dog, "peed prolifically in the $1 million house, staining tile and stone flooring, wood door jams, cabinets, and furniture."
Epstein joked when asked about the suit on Tuesday.
“As I said, we have no untouchables," Epstein said. "Winston is definitely available in the right trade.”
Chicago vice president of communications Julian Green called the lawsuit is "baseless" on Tuesday. He then compared the description of Epstein's dog to the movie, "Monster Dog," a horror film from the 1980s.
“This frivolous lawsuit would have you believe a 10-pound rescue puppy transformed into a nightmarish Levitan (sic) from the 1984 Alice Cooper horror movie and went on a rampage in a rental property," Green told the New Times. "The truth is the real horror story was the house and inhabited creatures that put this family at risk every time they put their children to sleep."
That real horror, Epstein alleges, were 45 Arizona bark scorpions—the most venomous species found in the Southwest—found on the property, according to a March 9, 2015 extermination report that was showed to the New Times. The report was written by Ben Holland, an exterminator with the Phoenix-based Scorpion Sweepers, who conducted a sweep of the home.
One or two days after the sweep, Green said Epstein found a scorpion after bathing his infant son, per the New Times. It was then the Epsteins moved out of the home and found another place to stay until the regular season began.
According to Green, Epstein asked the Valentinos for a refund of the final two weeks rent, but the Valentinos refused, while also declining to return the security deposit the Cubs' president put down.
Then, on April 16, 2015, the Valentinos alerted the Epsteins of the alleged damages, which they said exceeded the $5,000 security deposit they didn't refund the family. The Epsteins received a repair estimate of $51,405 from the landlords in February 2017. The Valentinos also requested the family's insurance information, which the Epsteins have not provided according to the lawsuit.