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$70,000 Bed Bug Settlement Against JK2 Westminster, LLC

Whitney, LLP successfully represented a family consisting of a single mother and her two young children who moved into a Highland Village townhouse managed by JK2 Westminster, LLC. This particular property management company was mentioned in a story published by The New York Times Magazine on May 23, 2017, which covered the residential real estate holdings of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. The Times article discussed Kushner’s ownership interest in real estate holdings in Baltimore County, Maryland, including Highland Village, a community of townhouses in Halethorpe, Maryland. The Times article reported that JK2 Westminster, LLC was a subsidiary of a large real estate firm named Kushner Companies, led by Jared Kushner.

Upon moving into the Highland Village townhouse, our client expected a clean, safe and sanitary home to raise her children. Instead, she and her children were fed upon by an infestation of bed bugs that turned their short time at Highland Village into a nightmare. Pre-suit we attempted to negotiate a fair settlement, but we were unable to get a timely response from the insurance claims adjuster. Accordingly, we filed suit and commenced discovery. Thereafter, we resumed settlement negotiations and obtained a $70,000 settlement. The $70,000 settlement helped compensate our clients for the bed bug bites they suffered, as well as their emotional distress and economic damages.

Bed Bug Infestation In a New Apartment

On July 29, 2016, our client and her two young sons, then ages 1 and 2, moved into the townhouse at Highland Village Townhomes in Halethorpe, Maryland. Within one week, she began to notice itchy, bite-like marks on her skin and one of her son’s skin. At the time, she did not know what was causing the bites. She continued to find the marks on herself and her son with increasing intensity, but attributed it to mosquitos. On the evening of August 8, 2016 while changing her son’s diaper, she noticed multiple bites on him, and he soon began to cry from the discomfort. She took him to receive medical treatment, and was informed by doctors that the bites appeared to be caused by bed bugs.

After returning to the townhouse, our client searched, found and caught bed bugs. The next day, she reported the bed bugs in the townhouse to JK2 Westminster, LLC’s employees at Highland Village. For an unknown reason, management delayed scheduling a pest control company to inspect the townhouse for almost two weeks. Due to JK2 Westminster, LLC’s delay, our client moved her family to her parent’s house, over 1.5 hours away in Virginia.

When the townhouse was finally inspected, the pest control company confirmed an infestation of bed bugs. Although a treatment was performed, the pest control company failed to eradicate the infestation, and our client continued to find bed bugs in the townhouse when she came back to check on it. Due to the ongoing infestation, our client vacated on October 9, 2016. Upon moving out, she discarded essentially all of her family’s personal property in an effort to avoid bringing the infestation to her next residence.

 

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Painted-over bed bug on the wall.

 

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Closeup of painted-over bed bug on the wall.

Landlord Had Prior Notice of Bed Bug Infested Apartment

The Complaint alleged that prior to leasing the townhouse to our client, the townhouse was known to have an issue with bed bugs. The immediate prior tenant had reported bed bugs to management, and the townhouse had been treated for bed bugs several times in the month prior to our client moving in. Prior to moving in, our client had asked the leasing agent about the condition of the townhouse. The Complaint alleged that despite our client’s questions to the leasing agent, the recent history of bed bug treatments was not disclosed. Allegedly as the result of the leasing agent’s failure to disclose the history of treatments for bed bug infestation, our client felt deceived into leasing the bed bug infested apartment and she and her family suffered from bed bug bites, emotional distress and consequential economic loss as the result.

 

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Dead bed bug under the carpet

 

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Closeup of dead bed bug under the carpet.

Landlord Liability for Bed Bug Infestation

JK2 Westminster, LLC had a duty to provide their tenants with safe, clean, habitable and bed bug free rental units. The lawsuit filed by our client alleged that JK2 Westminster, LLC breached their duty to our client by leasing her the townhouse that was infested with bed bugs. The lawsuit further alleged that JK2 Westminster, LLC failed to disclose the history of bed bug infestation and ongoing infestation of bed bugs in the townhouse that was present at the time she agreed to lease it. Had the material facts of the history of infestation and recent treatments for bed bugs been disclosed, our client would never have risked moving her family into the infested townhouse.

Damages for Bed Bug Infestation and Bed Bug Bites

During their tenancy in the townhouse, our clients were repeatedly bitten by bed bugs. The bed bug bite wounds itched intensely and caused our clients discomfort, emotional distress and sleeplessness. While moving out of the townhouse, they discarded clothes, furniture and personal property in an effort to avoid bringing the infestation to their new home.

Attorneys for Bed Bug Bites and Infestation

Whitney, LLP’s bed bug lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for victims of bed bugs in a variety of bed bug cases. Our bed bug lawyers handle bed bug bite and infestation cases against apartments, landlords, hotels, hospitals, campgrounds and furniture and mattress stores throughout Maryland, including Annapolis, Baltimore, Columbia, Germantown, Silver Spring, Waldorf, Upper Marlboro, Frederick, Glen Burnie, Ellicott City, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Dundalk, Bethesda, Bowie, Towson and Bel Air.  

We handle bed bug cases in other states depending on the facts of the case, including many hotel bed bug bite and infestation cases arising across the United States.  Our attorneys are admitted to practice law in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, and have relationships with attorneys in other states to be able to pursue those cases.

Initial bed bug case consultations are always free, and our attorney’s fees and expenses are paid when we are able to recover compensation for our clients. Of course, past results are not a guarantee of future successful results. Contact Us Now at 410 583 8000, or use our Quick Contact Form for your Free Consultation.

 

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