SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A San Diego County family of a 10-year-old boy who died from rat-bite fever filed a lawsuit against Petco Monday
According to KTLA, the family sued Petco, where the boy’s pet rat was purchased, alleging that the store sold them a rat already infected with the disease.
Aidan Pankey’s grandmother purchased a pet rat for him last summer from a Petco in San Diego. The 10-year-old died two weeks later, on June 11, after coming down with rat-bite fever, according to lawsuit documents filed Monday by his family.
The filed complaint stated that Aidan woke up on the evening of June 11 with stomach pains and a fever.
He was rushed to the hospital, and died hours later.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that Aidan had died from streptobacillus moniliformis, also known as rat-bite fever.
The family’s lawsuit claimed that Petco was neglectful in ensuring the safety of their child by not making sure the rat was healthy.
Andrew Pankey and Vanessa Sauer, the parents of Aidan, filed the suit in a San Diego Superior Court, said KTLA — it listed accusations of liability, negligence and breach of warranty.
In a statement published by the LA Times, Petco said it was “deeply saddened by the … family’s tragic loss. The health and safety of people and pets is always a top priority and we take the family’s concerns very seriously,”