Bed Bug Bite Lawsuits
Recently, there have been several lawsuits filed against hotels and landlords for bed bug bites, because of an apparent comeback by the pests that had at one point been nearly eradicated.
In one publicized case, a luxurious hotel in London was sued after a guest and his wife each suffered hundreds of bites after staying there. In another, a former guest is suing a New York hotel for $20 million after suffering hundreds of bites over a period of four nights.
Landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that their properties are fit for human habitation. This is known as the “implied warranty of habitability.” If the landlord allows the property to fall into disrepair, or allows pest infestations (such as bed bugs) to take hold, they are liable to the tenant for any harm that results. As a practical matter, this usually relieves the tenant of the duty to pay rent, or a part thereof. The tenant might also be entitled to compensation for any injuries or health problems that result from the infestation of bed bugs.
Damages may be higher if the tenant or guest can prove that the landowner knew about the bed bug infestation, and did not take reasonable steps to address it.
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Last Modified: 06-06-2012 04:37 PM PDT
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