Jury backs Petco in rat-bite fever suit

Times Colonist - - Business -

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego jury has sided with Petco in a law­suit brought by the fam­ily of a 10-year-old boy who died af­ter con­tract­ing an ill­ness from bac­te­ria from a rat pur­chased from the re­tailer. The jury found Petco was not neg­li­gent or li­able in the death of Ai­dan Pankey on June 12, 2013, af­ter he was rushed to a hospi­tal with se­vere stom­ach pains. The San Diego County med­i­cal ex­am­iner’s of­fice ruled the cause of death was strep­to­bacil­lus monil­i­formis in­fec­tion, known as rat-bite fever, af­ter ex­po­sure to an in­fected rat. The jury found Petco did enough to warn the boy’s fam­ily of the pos­si­ble risks of own­ing a pet rat, and there­fore was not neg­li­gent in the boy’s death.

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