A Maryland jury awarded a 69 year-old woman $800,000 in her lawsuit against her landlord after a bedbug infestation. The lawsuit arose when the woman notified her landlord of the problem and, according to her, instead of taking care of the bedbugs, her landlord attempted to retaliate against her and even tried to evict her.
After only a few months in the home, the woman was covered in bedbug bites that became scabs and lesions. After consulting a county housing worker, she determined the source of her agony was from a bedbug infestation in her home. The suit claimed that the landlord knew the house was infested with bedbugs because he had been ordered by the city to handle the problem.
The woman’s attorney hailed the jury’s verdict as a victory, not only for her, but for tenants everywhere. He believed the jury’s award sent a message to landlords not to ignore problems. The jury awarded the woman twice as much as she requested.
In the recent years, bedbugs have become a major source of concern for people in the United States. Just as recently as this year, a group of Iowa tenants filed a class action lawsuit on their landlords for a bedbug infestation, and a woman filed a multi-million dollar suit against Holiday Inn for allegedly being bitten during a stay in North Carolina.
Bedbugs are small, flat parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. Bedbug infestations usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep. They hide during the day in places such as mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and head boards. Bedbug bites affect everyone differently. Some people may have no reaction and will not develop bite marks or any other visible signs of being bitten. Other people may be allergic to the bed bugs and can react adversely to the bites.