Lawyers throughout the United States are becoming more knowledgeable about bed bug claims as more “bed bug lawyers” are representing traumatized and injured victims of bed bug bites. In recent years, bed bug infestations have become more prevalent and have reached epidemic proportions in the United States.
The $800,000 bed bug verdict in Maryland earlier this year (see our blog posted on July 18, 2013 entitled, Maryland Bed Bug Claim Ends In Large Verdict, for details) was a wake-up call for residential landlords, apartment building owners, and operators of hotels who are responsible to keep people safe from bed bug injuries.
States are becoming more active in enacting laws to address the epidemic of bed bug infestations: Arizona enacted A.R.S. § 33-1319(A)(2) in April 2011, which states, “The landlord shall not enter into any lease agreement with a tenant for a dwelling unit that the landlord knows to have a current bedbug infestation.” (Section E states, “Except as specifically provided in this section, this section does not create a cause of action against: 1. A landlord or a landlord’s employees, officers, agents and directors by a tenant or a tenant’s guests for any damages caused by bedbugs. 2. A tenant by a landlord for any damages caused by bedbugs.)” Source
An Iowa bed bug lawsuit filed by tenants of two bed bug-infested apartment buildings against their landlords in 2010 was certified as a class-action lawsuit by an Iowa lower court in 2011. The defendants appealed the lower court’s decision that allowed the lawsuit to proceed as a class-action that may involve more than 300 tenants. On May 10, 2013, the Iowa Supreme Court allowed the bed bug lawsuit to proceed as a class action lawsuit when its members were deadlocked in their decision (Iowa law provides that when the Iowa Supreme Court is equally divided, the judgment of the lower court is affirmed). Source
Illinois has one of the highest rates of bed bug infestations of hotels and housing complexes in the United States. Illinois bed bug lawsuits have resulted in verdicts approaching $200,000 for victims of bed bug bites.
Bed bug lawyers will tell you that it is important to promptly take many photographs of the bed bugs, what they (and you) have left behind, and the location of the bed bugs so that you have proof of the bed bug infestation. The bed bug bites should be promptly reported to the management of the apartment complex or hotel before you leave (get the names and titles of everyone involved with the reporting). You should take photographs of all of your bed bug bites and you should promptly seek medical treatment to document your bed bug bites and injuries. You must take appropriate steps to have all of your exposed belongings appropriately cleaned and treated so that you do not bring bed bugs home with you or suffer a re-infestation. Obtain all hotel receipts for the stay during which you suffered bed bug bites as well as all receipts and other documents regarding your treatment and damages suffered as a result of bed bug bites. Keep a photo diary of your bed bug bites over time to establish how long they lasted and how they looked.
Also, seek the advice of a local bed bug lawyer (personal injury lawyer) who can advise you regarding your bed bug claim and assist you in receiving fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Click here to visit our website to complete and submit a secure form to be connected with bed bug lawyers in the state in which you suffered bed bug bites who may assist you with your bed bug claim. You may also contact us by calling toll-free 800-295-3959.
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