Family loses only son to the bite of a pet rat

Every day we are exposed to a variety of germs, but most of them will not kill us. Even when we get sick, most of us in Bridgeport go to the doctor or the hospital, get some medicine and are sent home to recover. Unfortunately, sometimes medicines and medical care just aren't enough; either the condition is too severe or it is too late for doctors to do anything.

When someone dies from an illness, it is a tragedy, but one that most likely is no one's fault. In the rare case that someone's illness is the result of someone's negligence, however, a wrongful death lawsuit could be filed.

One out-of-state family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the pet store chain Petco following the death of their son. According to the parents' lawsuit, their son died from "rat-bite fever," an illness that, unsurprisingly, is linked to exposure to infected rats. The child has received the rat from his grandmother who had purchased it at a Petco.

The amount of compensation the family is asking for has not yet been released, but the damages are both financial and emotional. Of course no amount of money will replace their son, but they should not be forced to pay his hospital bills and other costs of medical care if someone else negligence caused his fatal illness.

The family is alleging that the pet store should have tested for infection even though the rat appeared to be healthy. Had they tested, the rat never would have entered circulation and never would have infected the young child.

Source: CBS News, "Family sues Petco after boy dies from 'rat-bite fever'," Feb. 25, 2014

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