Recently, a jury from San Diego ruled in favor of Petco, a chain of popular US pet store in the case of the 10-year-old boy who passed away after being bit by a pet rat his grandmother bought from them. In the closing remarks, the members of the San Diego jury told Magistrate Eddie Sturgeon that the company observed all safety procedures, as well as informing their clients that some of the rats sold in the store might be infected with the potentially deadly Rat Bite Fever disease.
Family Sues Petco for $20 Million
Aidan Pankey’s parents recently lost the lawsuit against Petco. The grievance against the company was filed in February 2014, shortly after the 10-year-old boy passed away at a San Diego hospital. According to case documents, the family’s tragedy began after Sharon Pankey, Aidan’s grandmother, went to one of Petco’s store and bought Aidan, a pet rat.
A few days after the woman gave the rat to Aidan, the animal bit the boy. On the 12th of June 2014, Aidan’s family rushed the boy to the hospital after he complained of abdominal pains. The ER doctors couldn’t identify Aidan’s disease and did everything they could in order to stabilize the 10-year-old. Unfortunately, the boy died several hours after being admitted to the hospital.
Disease Fatal in Some Cases
The autopsy revealed that Aidan Pankey was infected with Rat Bite Fever, an illness usually transmitted by a bacterium carried by mice, rodents, and rats. Although most cases of Rat Bite Fever have been registered in Japan, infected individuals have also been discovered in Europe, Africa, Australia, and the US.
According to the doctors, the symptoms associated with Rat Bite Fever disease are muscle aches, headaches, vomiting, chills, high-degree fever, rashes, skin ulcers, swollen lymph nodes, and joint pains.
The condition can be treated using a combination of penicillin, tetracycline, and erythromycin. Unfortunately, in some rare instances, the infection can spread very fast, killing its host within a few hours. This was to be Aidan Pankey’s case.
As for his family’s lawsuit, the San Diego jury stated that the company would not be held liable for the boy’s death, since it followed all safety protocols and thoroughly informed its clients that some of the rodents might carry the disease. In 2014, Aidan’s family asked for $20 million in financial compensations and accused Petco that it did not inform its clients about the diseases some of its pets might be carrying.
Image source: Pixabay
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