PHOENIX (CN) – PetSmart claims in court that a bird supplier sold it a cockatiel that gave a buyer psittacosis, or parrot fever, a disease that killed the customer’s father.
PetSmart and its insurer, Travelers, sued Rainbow World Exotics, in Maricopa County Court.
PetSmart claims it bought a pearl cockatiel from Rainbow World and sold the bird to Amanda de la Garza on Sept. 20, 2006.
“After the sale, it was alleged that the bird was infected with psittacosis,” the complaint states.
“It was further alleged that the bird infected both Amanda de La Garza and her father, Joseph de La Garza, resulting in serious injury and illness to Amanda and the wrongful death of Joe de La Garza.”
(Psittacosis, or parrot fever, is an infectious disease that infected birds can spread through their droppings and nasal discharges. In humans, the disease can mimic typhoid fever and/or pneumonia. It can be treated by antibiotics but because of the exotic nature of the disease, it may be misdiagnosed.)
The de La Garza family sued against PetSmart, and “PetSmart tendered the defense of the de La Garza litigation to Rainbow Exotics, and such tender of defense was denied by Scottsdale Insurance Company as the insurer of Rainbow Exotics,” the complaint states.
So PetSmart and Travelers insurance “were forced to bear the burden, cost and expenses associated with defendant of the de La Garza action, and ultimately settled the de La Garza litigation,” according to the complaint.
PetSmart and Travelers seek compensatory damages and all the money they spent defending the personal injury and wrongful death litigation.
They are represented by Shawna Woner and Michael Morgan, with Garrey, Woner, Hoffmaster and Peshek, of Scottsdale.