The Used Furniture and Rent-to-Own industries have a severe problem with bed bugs. We have successfully filed suit and recovered compensation against the largest Rent-to-Own businesses in the industry, on behalf of clients who alleged that their furniture and mattresses were infested with bed bugs at the time they were delivered. Once the infested furniture is delivered, it is only a short period of time before the entire home becomes infested, causing bed bug bites, anxiety and emotional distress, and financial hardship.
We have found that once a customer complains to a Rent-to-Own company, the company often requires the customer to sign a general release before the company will provide extermination services. What many customers do not understand is that by signing a general release, they are giving up their right to be compensated for the company’s negligence. A release should not be signed by anyone until they have contacted an attorney.
Free consultations. Call us now at (410) 583-8000, or use our Quick Contact Form.
Dangerous Procedures with Returned and Repossessed Furniture
We have had cases where a customer has called to return furniture because it was infested with bed bugs, and the rental company picked up the furniture in the same truck it uses to deliver furniture, without sealing the infested furniture or taking any precautions. There is no question that the truck is now at risk for spreading the infestation to all customers whose furniture is delivered in that truck.
Most used furniture and rental furniture companies keep returned and repossessed furniture in the same storage room with the rest of their furniture and products. After repossessing furniture, many times the only cleaning done is to spray the item with an ineffective chemical mix that does nothing to kill bed bugs. The bed bugs from the infested furniture hitchhike on to the furniture they are next to, and the entire process begins again for a new, unsuspecting customer.
The Rent-to-Own industry has a duty to their customers to use reasonable care in the receipt, inspection, storage, transport, assembly and installation of the products they offered for lease or sale. That duty is breached when their products are infested with bed bugs.
Bed bugs can be spread from rent-to-own furniture into the customer’s home as the result of:
– Failure to inspect and proactively treat the furniture for bed bugs prior to the furniture being rented to a new customer;
– Failing to assure that the locations where furniture and other merchandise sold and leased to their customers are kept prior to delivery are free of bed bug infestation;
– Attempting to use self-help bed bug treatment methods such as spraying chemicals or rubbing alcohol to treat infested furniture instead of contracting with a licensed pest control contractor for professional treatment;
– Failing to warn customers that the furniture they had purchased or rented could be infested or had come into contact with bed bugs, and failing to educate their customers to to the potential signs and symptoms of a bed bug infestation;
– Failing to inspect and promptly remove the infested bedroom furniture once they are notified that the furniture is infested with bed bugs;
– Failing to arrange for prompt, effective and competent professional extermination services to eliminate bed bugs from the customer’s home after it has become became infested with bed bugs from rental furniture; and
– Employing a business model that the rent-to-own business knew or should have known created and or increased the risks that the furniture they sold/leased was infested with bed bugs.
Our Rental Furniture Bed Bug Attorneys Can Help
Free Consultations. Call us now at (410) 583-8000, or use our Quick Contact Form.