Just a guess but I am pretty sure I know why the animal is dead... your friend immediately took the animal out of the box and shoved it under a heat lamp right? This puts an animal in danger of going into shock if it was cool for an extended period of time to begin with (from cool to instantly hot is not good... let the animals gradually warm up to room temp before going under a heat lamp)
I have to ask if the person had a live-arrival guarentee... while MOST sellers do... not all of them make this guarentee as much as it sucks (this should have all been discussed prior to the transaction being made by the way) If you were offered a live arrival guarentee then you SHOULD get a replacement or a refund. I do know some dealers that only guarentee live arrival though... after a night is no longer covered.
As for lawsuits against the site... its a big pile of ooeey... you cannot be sued for telling the truth. As long as a thread is properly moderated (ie. keep it to no actual insults or remarks about the product or the company) then you have no risk of a libel suit. If people were not allowed to write their distaste of a product or service, would we have film, food, or any kind of critic in the newspapers or on TV? You ARE allowed to write a bad experience with a company or a product with no repurcussions... just no actual saying "Mr X is an idiot and a cheat"... the way to make that statement legal is to say "IN MY OPINION, Mr X is an idiot and a cheat"
Remember... we are all allowed to have an opinion (that loophole was shown to me by my law teacher hehehe)
In my opinion, threatening a lawsuit against a review site is a cheap and cowardly way of hiding bad business practices... I wouldn't have let myself get pushed around by cowards.