Can I sue pet smart for selling me infected guinea pigs and now me and my daughter are losing our hair?

I bought 2 guinea pigs from a per store chain for Christmas. One pig was sick, not gaining weight, drinking a lot of water and had hair loss. I had one test done on it in which it tested positive for ringworm but they wanted to run other test that I couldn’t afford and they should have been checked before they sold them to me. So, I returned them and a week later notice that I was losing my hair and my 10 year old daughter was/is losing her hair as well. I called the store I don’t know how many times to find out what a happened to the guinea pigs and what did they have? They told me they sold them and all they had was ring work. Later I found out that both were put to sleep and to go get checked. I have been stressed, as well as my daughter, and still haven’t found anyone to us.

Asked on May 30, 2017 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Prior to filing a lawsuit against Pet Smart, it may be possible to settle the case with its insurance carrier.
You and your daughter have separate personal injury claims.
When each of you completes the medical treatment and is released by the doctor, obtain the medical bills, medical reports and in your case, if applicable wage loss.
Your personal injury claim filed with Pet Smart's insurance carrier should include those items.
Your daughter's personal injury case should include medical bills and medical reports.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document the injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the personal injury case is settled with Pet Smart's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject them and file a lawsuit for negligence against Pet Smart.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.
The same discussion is applicable to your daughter's personal injury case.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on her behalf because she is a minor.
In my opinion, the case against the Bayfield vet is weak and is not worth pursuing.  If you were to pursue it, the same discusssion would be applicable.

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