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California family files negligence suit against Petco

Having a pet can be a great gift for young people. Parents often adopt or purchase pets in an attempt to teach children the importance of compassion, responsibility and accountability. However, a recent tragedy in California has prompted one family to take steps to try and hold a pet store company to these same expectations. 

According to reports, a 10-year-old boy received a pet rat from his grandmother in May 2013. It was his second pet rat, and he was already familiar with how to care for his little friend. But unbeknownst to him, his parents and his grandmother, the rat that had been purchased from Petco had an infection known as rat-bite fever. Less than a month after receiving the rat, the young boy died from the very same infection.

Caring for a pet requires owners to take certain precautions. However, in this case, the San Diego family had no knowledge that the rat from Petco was infected with rat-bite fever, as Petco never tested the animal before selling it. They had no reason to suspect that extra safety precautions were needed in caring for this rat. The family was also not made aware that this type of infection could cause fatal consequences to those who come in contact with the pet. Because of these failings, the lawsuit argues that the company is at fault for the devastating death of the young boy.

The parents filed their personal injury lawsuit for many different reasons. Not only do they want the pet store company to compensate them for the tragic and untimely loss of their son, but they also want to raise awareness of this devastating condition. They are also looking to hold Petco accountable for their negligence in failing to test for rat-bite fever and for failing to warn consumers of the risk of death associated with rat-bite fever.

Source: Liberty Voice, "Petco Lawsuit Follows Boy's Death From Infected Rat," Tracy Rose, Feb. 26, 2014

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