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Jury sides with Petco in death of boy from rat-bite fever

SAN DIEGO (AP) — 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.

KNSD-TV and KFMB-TV report that the jury found Thursday that 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 that Petco did enough to warn the boy’s family of the possible risks and dangers of owning a pet rat, and therefore was not negligent in the boy’s death.

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