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Lawsuit Filed after Boy Allegedly Contracts Fatal Disease from Rodent Purchased at Pet Store

March 18, 2014

When families visit the local pet store with the intention of adopting a dog, cat, bird, reptile or rat, there are a range of issues that potential pet owners usually consider. These issues usually center on the responsibility and cost of caring for the animal. Most people planning to adopt a pet probably spend little or no time contemplating the possibility of contracting a serious or even fatal disease. However, animals can carry deadly diseases, which might be contracted by humans if animals are not properly tested prior to a breeder or pet store selling an animal to an unsuspecting consumer.

The tragic death of a 10-year-old boy, who contracted a fatal bacterial infection after purchasing a rat from pet store, provides a sad reminder that pets can carry diseases which can be transmitted to people. The AP report indicates that the parents of the boy have filed a lawsuit alleging that their son contracted "rat-bite fever" (streptobacillus moniliformis) from an infected rat purchased at a national chain pet store. The news report indicates that the boy awoke in the middle of the night approximately two weeks after purchasing the rat with stomach symptoms and severe pain. The boy was pale, lethargic and exhibited difficulty walking according to the lawsuit. He died the following day. Montlick and Associates expresses its deepest condolences to this young boy's family.

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the boy's parents alleges that the pet shop failed to conduct tests for the disease and should have been aware that the rodent was infected. The lawsuit also alleges that the retailer failed to post sufficient warnings of the potential risk of receiving a rodent with a disease that could cause injury or death.

The AP report indicated that the pet store chain was investigating the allegations, and that the retailer would respond once it had more information. The pet retailer reportedly indicated that it posts precautions for customers to follow in its store and online designed to prevent customers from contracting rat-bite fever.

Many people who purchase pets might be unaware that there are many diseases that can be transmitted between humans and animals, referred to as "zoonoses." There are 39 serious diseases that can be transmitted directly between animals and humans according to the website Mother Nature Network website. The website also indicates that there are 42 important diseases humans can get from food or drinks contaminated by fecal material of animals.

Put Our Law Firms Over 39 Years of Experience to Work For You

If you purchase a diseased pet from a breeder or pet store, which causes you or a loved one to become ill, you may have a right to financial compensation. An investigation might be appropriate to determine the precautions taken by the company that sold the animal to prevent the sale of diseased, infectious animals. Our Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.