Updated: Oct 31, 2019
The bed bug law suits keep coming!
Item #1: An Alhambra jury awarded a Los Angeles family a $1.6 million payout on a bed bug case. The family in question was plagued for months with bed bugs at their apartments in Inglewood in 2010.
Item #2: Last year, an Arkansas woman filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Biltmore Hotel and Resort, a Hilton Waldorf Astoria luxury property, because a stay left her covered in bed bug bites.
Item #3: A New York woman, who received a whopping 25 bed bug bites at a Holiday Inn in North Carolina, filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit in 2013 against the hotel chain.
If these stories surprise you, you’re not alone. Most people aren’t aware of the fact that bed bugs have seen a resurgence in recent years. In fact, according to the science journal Nature, “At least 20% of Americans have encountered bed bugs in their homes, their offices, and in hotels and sundry other places.”
And the virtual tsunami of bed bug lawsuits we’ve recently seen is proof positive of this trend.
What to do if you’ve been bitten by bed bugs:
So, what should you do if you suspect that you’ve been bitten by bed bugs while staying at a hotel or renting a house or apartment? Quite a lot, it turns out.
First, take photos, or a video, of the bed bugs, the bed bug bites, and blood (if any) on the bed sheets. Why? Evidence! You will have to prove your claim if you decide to bring suit. But it’s not just a matter of verifying the authenticity of your claims that’s at stake here. Having irrefutable proof of bed bug bites will certainly have an influence of the level of compensation you can expect. Even better if you can nab one or two bed bugs and store them in a plastic bag. Keep in mind that the hotel chain or the apartment owner may well claim that there are not ̶ and never were ̶ bed bugs on their property. Your evidence will quickly discredit or undermine their counter claims.
Second, (and this is crucial) you should report any bed bug incident to motel/motel management right away. If the problem occurs in a rental property or an office space, you should file a complaint with the owner or landlord as soon as possible. Documentation is vital if you are going to file a lawsuit, so share your complaint with the local department of health. Make sure to include details about which employees you spoke to, what was said and how the problem was reso