With affordable rates and widespread locations, Comfort Inn, which is part of the Choice Hotels family, has been one of the nation’s favorite hotel brands since its debut. Unfortunately, while most guests report having a positive experience, Comfort Inn hotels do not always live up to their name. Though most Comfort Inns provide clean and comfortable quarters, problems such as inadequate maintenance or pest control can lead to bed bug infestations. Guests who stay in infested rooms can be bitten dozens or hundreds of times – and the nightmare doesn’t always end there. Since bed bugs can easily travel in luggage, guests also risk bringing the infestation back to their home, restarting the cycle all over again.
If you were bitten by bed bugs while staying at a Comfort Inn, the bed bug hotel infestation attorneys of Whitney, LLP can fight for financial compensation on your family’s behalf. Our law firm is focused almost exclusively on bed bug litigation, giving our attorneys unique strategic insights into these types of claims. Contact us online to schedule a free consultation, or call our law offices at (410) 583-8000 today.
Comfort Inn Hotel Locations
Comfort Inn is owned by Choice Hotels, which, as the franchiser behind more than 6,000 properties, is one of the world’s largest and best-known hotel companies. While several Choice brands are marketed as luxury hotels, Comfort Inn is better known for basic, midscale lodging that caters to families and businesspeople alike. The franchise is divided into Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites, which offers a roomier, more upscale experience. Some establishments combine both, called Comfort Inn & Suites.
Comfort Inns and Comfort Suites are ubiquitous, with one Choice press release noting that “the iconic Comfort Hotel brand finished 2017 by opening 58 hotels and increasing the pipeline to nearly 300, one of the largest in its history.” Comfort Inns and Comfort Suites can be found throughout North America, with some notable locations including:
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Chicago, Illinois
- Greenville, South Carolina
- Houston, Texas
- New York, New York
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Orlando, Florida
- Washington, D.C.
- Wichita, Kansas
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Bed bugs are small, flightless insects that range from pale to dark brown in color, depending on their age and how recently they have fed. The shape of a bed bug can also change drastically depending on feeding. Unfed bed bugs are oval or round, but relatively flat, similar to a coin. In contrast, bed bugs which have recently fed will be shaped more like seeds or tubes, appearing distended and cylinder-shaped.
How Can You Tell if a Hotel Has Bed Bugs?
Hotel bed bug disclosure and extermination laws vary from state to state, which means you may not be warned of previous infestations, depending on which regulations are in effect – and the extent to which the hotel’s manager and staff are actually compliant with those regulations. Unfortunately, that means you will need to be vigilant when you arrive. Here are several ways to determine whether your hotel room has bed bugs:
- Check on top and beneath your mattresses for live bed bugs and/or small, dark stains, which are left behind when the bed bugs are squashed or defecate.
- Pay attention to any unusual odors. Bed bugs can secrete “alarm pheromones,” or chemical signals that warn other insects of attack, which many people describe as smelling “musty,” “sickeningly sweet,” or even like certain foods – usually, “like almonds” or “like coriander” (cilantro).
- Using a flashlight and a thin piece of material (such as a debit or credit card), examine any seams or pinched areas along the sides of your mattress where bed bugs could be present.
Can You Sue Comfort Inn for a Bed Bug Infestation?
Bed bugs are more than just irritating pests – they can also be dangerous to human health. While most people do not experience effects beyond minor itching and skin irritation, some bite victims suffer intense physical reactions, including anaphylaxis – a rapidly progressing, potentially fatal allergic reaction. Victims can also develop bacterial infections, which develop easily in the open wounds caused by excessive scratching. Depending on the severity and extent of the bites, the victim can also be left with permanent scarring.
Not only are bed bug infestations potentially painful and dangerous – they can also be extremely expensive. If hotel guests bring bed bugs home in their luggage or on their person, it is only a matter of time before their own home or apartment becomes infested. Personal property can be ruined forever, forcing victims to spend money on replacements.
Fortunately, there is legal recourse for the victims of hotel bed bug infestations. If you were bitten by bed bugs at Comfort Inn or Comfort Suites, you may be able to recover financial compensation by filing a personal injury claim. Compensation, or “damages,” may be available for medical bills, property damage, and even anticipated expenses.
Comfort Inn Hotel Bed Bug Infestation Attorneys
The Comfort Inn bed bug lawyers of Whitney, LLP possess many years of experience representing injured hotel guests in bed bug claims and lawsuits. If you were the victim of a hotel room infestation, contact us online for a free legal consultation, or call Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 to learn more about how we can help.