San Diego County boy dies of ratbite fever; family sues Petco


The family of a 10-year-old boy who died last summer from ratbite fever is suing Petco Animal Supplies Inc. for selling them the pet rat.

Attorney John Gomez filed the lawsuit Friday in San Diego County, a paralegal at the practice confirmed to The Times. A copy of the lawsuit was not immediately available.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Tuesday it ruled the June 12, 2013, death of the 10-year-old boy accidental. He died from streptobacillus moniliformis, more commonly known as ratbite fever, after contact with an infected rat, spokeswoman Sarah Gordon said.


Petco said in a statement it is “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.”

The company said it is investigating the claims and will respond when it has more information.