2005_10_ratintub.jpgLandlords for a Bronx apartment building have agreed to pay $800,000 to the family of a little girl who was bitten by a rat in their apartment. Now, steel yourself for how the rat attacked then three year-old Camille Fernandez in 2001: It crawled through a broken tile, as Camille was waiting for her mother to get a towel. When mother Christina Fernandez turned back, Camille was unconscious in the tub, because she tried to shake the rat off her body, but fell and hit her head on the bathtub faucet. Ai!! Run to the Home Depot to get some grout to fix your tiles! According to Fernandez's lawyer, Camille has a "seizure disorder, rat-phobia, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress," plus "marks on her lower back [from the rat bites], and development and psychological problems." The family had sued the Rosenberg Diamond Development, which manages the building, for millions; interesting, RDD's lawyer approached the family with the $800,000 settlement during jury deliberations. We wonder what the jury would have awarded the family - even jurors with the coldest heart would find this story disgusting and terrible. We're sure the rat was as big as the little girl!

One would hope the Department of Buildings and the Health Department would follow up to make sure the building isn't a rathole, because it's doubtful the building has down much to upgrade conditions. A woman settled with her apartment building last December for $65,000 over a rat incident: As she was taking a shower, the ceiling collapsed with a couple of rats. Come to think of it, that rat story happened in the Bronx as well...and you should check your bathroom ceilings, especially over the shower, too.

Photograph from the Daily News