February 24th, 2012 - by DKRPA
Nutria rats originally appeared in this country in Louisiana, where the following story takes place. But Florida residents know of this creature too – they are large rodents that resemble a beaver. They are imposing figures too. A nutria rat can weigh as much as 20 pounds and have a body that is two feet in length, with a tail that could extend another 18 inches. Well how would you like one of these daunting animals to come running at you while shopping at Wal-Mart?
In what may sound like an unbelievable story, a Wal-Mart location in Louisiana was keeping a nutria rat around – apparently as the store’s pet. The rat scurried through the store and approached a woman who crushed her own foot with her shopping cart in her understandably frightened state. She is now suing Wal-Mart for premises liability.
The rodent even earned the moniker “Norman” by the people who worked at the Wal-Mart store where the incident occurred. Having the nutria rat within the confines of a store is a tremendous liability for the company, which is supposed to be providing a safe environment for its shoppers.
There is also a potential health risk by keeping a wild animal on the store’s premises. The nutria rat could have been carrying unknown diseases or spreading filth all around the store, tainting the company’s products.
Despite the odd nature of this story, the woman did suffer serious injuries. Her foot was broken in two places and required surgery in order to heal properly. However, full functionality in the foot has not come back, as nerve damage was a complication the woman suffered as a result of the injury.
Source: KLFY, “Nutria Rat Walmart Lawsuit,” Feb. 13, 2012