Just the mention of bed bugs makes many people squeamish and uncomfortable. Being bitten by bed bugs that come out in the dark at night and bite people without warning while they are sleeping in their own beds is a nightmare for many people. While most people do not live with bed bugs in their homes, everyone must be concerned about bed bugs if they sleep outside of their homes, including in hotels and resorts while on vacation or while visiting friends and relatives. As anyone who has had a run-in with bed bugs can attest, getting rid of them is difficult and many efforts are unsuccessful.
A recent bed bug case in Maryland resulted in a large Maryland jury verdict in favor of the bed bug victim. The $800,000 verdict awarded to the 69-year-old tenant for the hundreds of bed bug bites she suffered in her own apartment was in response to her claim that her landlord knew about the bed bug infestation before she even moved in but failed to properly treat and resolve the infestation and failed to advise her about the condition of her apartment.
The woman’s ordeal began shortly after she moved into her apartment in September 2011. She requested that the landlord fumigate her apartment but he failed to do so. She later learned that other tenants had complained to the landlord regarding bed bugs but the landlord did not address their complaints either. When the woman was evicted from her apartment, the bailiffs left her personal belongings outside on the curb, where they were promptly stolen (talk about karma!).
After hearing the woman’s story, the Maryland jury deliberated for only 45 minutes before returning its verdict, which included $650,000 in punitive damages. The property is in foreclosure.
On a related note, on July 16, 2013 a company called Chemical Free Solutions LLC that advertised its cedar-based product called “Best Yet!” as a bed bug and head lice repellant has agreed to settle federal claims of deceptive advertising because the product has not been proven to work as advertised. The company also falsely advertised its product as having been invented for the U.S. Army, according to the FTC. The company agreed to not make any claims about the effectiveness of its product unless it is able to produce scientific evidence to support the claim.
As part of the settlement, the former owner of the company agreed to pay $4.6 million and the company itself agreed to pay $185,206, which payment was suspended because the company cannot afford to pay.
Bed bug bites are disgusting and emotionally disturbing to everyone who suffers from them. Bed bug cases throughout the United State are on the rise due to increasing incidents of bed bug infestations. Bed bug lawsuits recently have resulted in sizeable recoveries for bed bug bite victims.
If you have a bed bug claim in Maryland or in another state, click here to visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with Maryland bed bug lawyers (or bed bug lawyers in your state) who may be able to assist you with a bed bug claim.
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