Can You Sue a Hotel for Bed Bugs? Lawyer Explains
Whitney, LLP helps consumers understand Can You Sue a Hotel for Bed Bugs?
We represent victims of bed bugs in cases involving infested apartments, hotels, AirBnBs, vacation rentals, hospitals and mattress and furniture companies. We primarily represent clients in Maryland.
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Can You Sue a Hotel for Bed Bugs?
Hi, this is Dan Whitney with the Whitney Law Firm here in Towson, Maryland. Today, we’re going to talk about, “Can I sue a hotel for bed bugs?” The short answer is, “Yes, and I do it all the time.” I’ve handled bed bug cases for about 10 years. Handled hundreds of bed bug cases. We’ve recovered over $13 million for our clients in a variety of situations, and we have sued many, many hotels in Maryland and in other states.
Finding Bites After Checking In
Of course, yes, you could sue a hotel. You could sue a hotel for anything you want. Now, what are the good facts on how to sue a hotel for a bed bug infestation? Of course, what happens is somebody checks into a hotel. After the first, second or third night, usually it appears by then, but sometimes there is a delayed reaction. The people in the hotel room will start to wake up and notice itchy red bites across their skin. That’s the first sign that something’s wrong. Then, they will find usually evidence of bed bugs, whether it’s blood spots on the sheets. They may find the shells. They may find the actual bed bugs running around, or they may wake up and, as disgusting as it is, may find the bed bugs crawling on themselves, so then there is the evidence of the infestation.
Photograph Bites and Bed Bugs for Evidence
Now, you’ve got the photographs and the evidence of being bitten. You’ve got the bed bugs, the evidence of the infestation. Those are the two components of a case against a hotel. Then the question becomes, “How badly was somebody bitten?” Now, if there’s only a few bites over one or two nights, that means there’s not that many bed bugs in the room, and perhaps the hotel could have inspected the room reasonably and still not found one or two bedbugs.
However, if somebody is bitten dozens or hundreds of times, which happens with a surprising frequency, and/or they see dozens or even, disgustingly enough, hundreds of bed bugs crawling in a room or crawling under a mattress or on a bed frame, what that means is the infestation has been there for a very long time. And if that happens, the inference to draw from that and what we find out in discovery after we file the lawsuit, we get all the names of the guests who have stayed in the room for at least the last 30 days, maybe longer. And we contact those people and we say, “Hey, when you stayed in room 300, did you have any issues?” And they might say, “Yes, it was disgusting. I woke up. I was covered in bed bug bites, and I told the hotel and they did,” whatever they did.
History of Infestation in the Room
We find that out in litigation, and then we cross-reference that with the pest control records that were produced in the case. And what we need to look to do is to see after guest A reported the infestation, did the hotel take the necessary steps to take the room out of order, to treat it, to inspect the adjacent units up, down, side to side and do all the necessary things, repeated treatments, to make sure the room was clean before they put another guest or more guests in there. Or after the guests complained, did they say, “Okay, thanks for letting us know,” do absolutely nothing and keep putting more guests in there. As outrageous as that sounds, it happens all the time.
And if somebody is bitten in a hotel and they file a lawsuit, of course, and begin litigation, and they get that information in discovery, which is what we do all the time, and we find out that there was a guest, the complaint was not handled properly and they still put another guest in the room. The case has now become significantly more value, because it shows that the hotel did not take the necessary steps that they knew they needed to, but they chose not to. And why did they choose not to? It’s usually a question of a financial reason. In other words, they didn’t want to spend the money. And that’s why either one or perhaps several guests would have been badly bitten in the hotel because the hotel didn’t take the necessary steps.
Yes, You Can Sue a Hotel for Bed Bugs
In a nutshell, yes, of course you can sue a hotel for bedbugs, and those are some of the facts that we look for as we do it. I hope this has been helpful. If you have any more questions, you can always call. We offer legal consultations. Or look at our website, www.whitneyfirm.com. I hope this has been helpful and tune into some additional videos for more information about bed bugs and bed bug litigation. Take care.