When the Bed Bugs Bite, Know Who is Liable!
After a tropical vacation, you might expect to come back with a nice tan, beachy souvenirs, and a relaxed state-of-mind. Unfortunately for one woman, she came back from her Bahamas vacation with something terrible: hundreds of bed bug bites!
According to her lawsuit, the woman, who is from Miami, was staying at the Atlantis Paradise Resort. One the last night of her weekend stay, she awoke to find her body covered with hundreds of swollen bites. When she pulled up the mattress, she was horrified to find swarms of bed bugs crawling around the bed. She took pictures and video recordings of the infested mattress, and notified the hotel’s management. While the resort compensated the woman and her husband for their stay, but she says that she was in constant pain for three weeks after the incident. She is seeking damages of up to $15,000, claiming the resort was negligent in their cleaning practices.
Bed Bug Facts
Bed bugs, scientifically known as cimex lectularius, are parasitic insects that feed on blood. They are found in hotels, dorms, hospitals, apartments, or other places where people frequently come-and-go. Though they used to be rare in North American, international travel has increased the bed bug encounters in the United States. They spread from place-to-place when someone inadvertently carries them, like on their clothes or in a suitcase.
When bed bugs feed on human blood, it can leave a swollen welt, similar to a mosquito bite. A small amount of bites might not be painful or very noticeable. However, the bites can become very swollen and itchy, and scratching them may lead to infection. They do not transmit any blood-borne diseases, like HIV or Zika.
When bed bug bites arise from a property owner or landlord’s negligence, the injured party may have a claim. Property owners have a duty to keep visitors and occupants safe, and this should include proper cleaning and maintenance. At a hotel, it is expected that the room will be cleaned before your stay, and an uncleaned room is a negligent breach of duty. In an apartment situation, a landlord must address any infestation complaints, and hire an exterminator if necessary. In these cases, photos of the infestation and records of any complaints filed serve as evidence of the property owner’s negligence.
Hopefully, your next hotel or apartment is infestation-free. To avoid bed bug bites, check the sheets and mattresses of hotel beds right away. If you are suspicious, don’t set down your suitcase or any other items until you confirm an infestation. When you get home from your trip, give all your clothes a good wash. This will ensure that no pesky bugs travelled home with you! By being aware of bed bug red flags — and knowing how to proceed after a bed bug incident — you will sleep much better!
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.