Opening statements have concluded for a civil suit involving a San Diego family seeking damages after their ten year-old son tragically died of rat bite fever. The boy contracted the rare disease from his new pet rat purchased by his grandmother from one of the stores in the Petco chain.
Lawyers for Petco stated that their client followed all laws that they are required to in selling rodents and that all purchases come with literature that explains the possibility of rodents carrying and passing diseases and bacteria. Additionally Petco lawyers stated that all pets come with danger and consider the case with Aiden to be an isolated incident and far from an epidemic.
The attorney for the family disagrees stating that more than 16 children have been infected by the disease and claims that Petco should be held responsible for not requiring that the rats be tested before they were sold and failing to put the informational brochure on rat bite fever where it was visible to customers.
The jury will be responsible in determining whether or not Petco was responsible in selling a defective product and whether or not they acted reasonable and appropriately once they were informed of Aiden’s infectious illness.
Symptoms of rat bite fever are similar to the flu and can often be mistaken for it. Symptoms can include,
- Pain the Joints
- Muscle Pain
- Skin Rashes Primarily on the Arms
While the infection can be fatal due to complications it is usually treatable with a round of antibiotics if caught in time. Most often the disease is transmitted via a rat or rodent bite, but in the case of Aiden no bite had occurred. It is believed that due to his routine contact and bathing with his pet, he contracted the disease through the animal’s saliva.
If you or someone you know suffered from a pet related disease and want to discuss your legal options, contact an attorney today to see if you or your loved one might be entitled to compensation.