$200,000 Hotel Bed Bug Lawsuit Settlement

Our client was bitten by bed bugs over one hundred times across her arms and legs during a short stay at a popular hotel chain operating throughout the United States.  She retained Whitney, LLP and we worked to settle the case before filing suit. When the insurance company refused to negotiate in good faith, we filed suit and ultimately settled the case for $200,000.

The photographs of our client’s bed bug bites are disturbing and indicate a longstanding infestation in the hotel room she was placed in.  Whenever a hotel guest sustains dozens or hundreds of bed bug bites in a single night’s stay, or during a stay of only a few nights, the multiple bites are evidence of a long-standing bed bug infestation in the hotel room that housekeeping failed to detect, or detected and ignored, before the guest spent the night.

These photographs show some of the bites sustained by our client:

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What Is the Value of a Hotel Bed Bug Claim

Whitney, LLP is nationally recognized for its bed bug practice area, and we have recovered millions of dollars for our bed bug clients.  Compensation in bed bug claims and lawsuits against infested hotels depends on the severity of the bed bug bites sustained, medical treatment received, permanency of skin blemishes or disfigurement, personal property damaged or thrown away, emotional distress, lost wages, the history of infestation of the hotel, and the experience and quality of the attorney hired by the injured guests or the guest’s family.   We have represented several clients in cases where a previous and inexperienced attorney advised them the case had a nominal value, only to later settle later for significant value.  Our bed bug case settlements have ranged up to hundreds of thousands for cases involving extended exposure, significant bed bug bites, and the possibility of public exposure of the unpleasant story of how a property manager allowed a severely infested hotel room to be rented to  a member of the general public.

How to Find a Bed Bug Lawyer

In this case, our client found Whitney, LLP online after she searched for experienced bed bug lawyers on the internet.  After calling our office and completing a brief initial questionnaire, she spoke with one of our bed bug attorneys and signed a representation agreement.  Based on our experience successfully recovering compensation for our bed bug clients in hundreds of bed bug cases, including many arising across the United States, Whitney, LLP is familiar with the bed bug claims and reporting procedures for essentially all of the major hotel franchisors and franchisees.  Based on that knowledge from previous claims and lawsuits against hotels for bed bugs, we knew exactly what information needed to be obtained from the franchisor and franchisee once litigation began, and used that information, and our client’s injury, to obtain a large settlement for her.  Before choosing an attorney to represent you, ask them how many lawsuits they have filed, and what their results have been. Many attorneys choose to settle cases quickly without filing a lawsuit, leaving significant money on the table for their clients. We file many bed bug cases every year when it is in the best interests of our clients to do so.  

What Should I Do When I Find Bed Bugs In My Hotel Room

To preserve your legal rights and support your bed bug claim or lawsuit against the infested hotel, Whitney, LLP’s list for “What Should I Do When Bed Bugs Are In My Room” is below:

1. Take pictures and video of the bed bugs and bites, and blood on the sheets.  

Taking pictures and video will preserve your evidence for a claim or lawsuit that you may choose to bring in the future. Evidence of both the bed bugs and bed bug bites will help to maximize your compensation.  If you can catch a bed bug, or multiple bugs, and put them in a sealed bag, do that as well.  Often times during the claims process, a hotel will claim that there were no bed bugs in a guest’s room.  When you can produce evidence of the infestation, that argument loses credibility. 

2. Report the bed bug infestation to the hotel’s front desk and ask to speak with the manager.

When you find bed bugs, you need to put the hotel on notice.  Doing so in person is good.  Also, writing an email to the manager, or assistant manager, is also a good way of documenting what hotel employees you spoke with, what was said, and what your experience was. Ask what their policy is for guest reports of bed bugs, and tell them that you want it followed exactly.

3. Request an Incident Report to be created. 

Although every hotel should create an incident report to document guest reports of bed bugs, not all of them do.  Ask that an incident report be created, and if given the opportunity to describe what happened, be sure to be as specific as possible with where the bed bugs were found, how many people were bitten, and any other important details. Also, be sure to note if any hotel employees came to the room and witnessed the bed bugs.

4. Call the local Health Department and report the infested room.  

The local Health Department, or Code Enforcement Department, can be very helpful in documenting bed bug claims. An inspector will usually drive to the hotel within a day or two of the guest making the complaint, personally inspect the infested room, make the hotel manager show them the incident report and any pest control records, and then make a written report of their findings. On many different occasions, we have used these reports in our bed bug cases and claims. 

5. Seek medical treatment.

Prescription medications, including cortisone and steroids, are often helpful to lessen the itching and swelling of bed bug bites.  Some people’s skin will show the bed bug bites longer than others, and sometimes up to a year.  If the bites do not start to fade within a week or two, you may want to see a dermatologist for their expert opinion on what steps, if any, should be taken.  We have had cases where bite marks last for over a year. In these cases, we have successfully recovered compensation for our clients who have had to live with these blemishes on their skin for an extended period of time.

6. Call or Email Whitney, LLP for your free consultation.

Whitney, LLP offers all potential clients a free consultation. Call us at 410 583 8000, or use our Quick Contact form.  We handle bed bug cases across the United States.

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