Springfield Hotel Bed Bug Injury Attorney
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on human blood and prefer to live in warm areas, which is why they are drawn to bedding and other sleep areas. Given their shy nature, they are typically only active at night. Operators of hotels and owners of apartment complexes have a duty to their guests and tenants to ensure their place of living is not rife with harmful or unsanitary conditions, including bed bug infestations. However, not all owners and operators take this duty seriously, and many fail to inspect for bed bugs and take the precautions required to eliminate an infestation of these harmful parasites. We can represent any Massachusetts resident who was bitten in a hotel anywhere in the US, and any person from anywhere in the US who was bitten in a Massachusetts hotel, call attorney Alan Goodman at A Good Law Firm today at (413) 736-1616 to discuss the details of your matter.
Injuries Caused by Bed Bugs
Everyone reacts differently to bed bug exposure, sometimes experiencing extreme side effects or none at all. More often than not, however, individuals might experience one or more of these common symptoms:
- Skin rashes, blisters, or large red bumps
- Uncontrollable itching that might last for days or weeks
- Permanent scarring
- An allergic reaction throughout the body
- Mental anguish that might require therapy
- Difficulty sleeping due to a fear of another attack
Although it is not a common side effect, it is possible for severe cases to lead to post bite infections or the transmittal of pathogens such as MRSA, hepatitis B, C, and E, and arboviruses. There is also an economic cost associated with bed bugs, which can render furniture, beddings, and clothing unusable.
Who is Liable for Bed Bug Injuries?
There are two liability issues when it comes to bed bugs:
- Who is responsible for exterminating the bed bugs?
- Who is liable for a person’s injuries and suffering from bed bug bites?
On the first issue, Massachusetts law protects the tenant, requiring that the landlord treats and pays for the extermination of bed bugs. If your landlord fails to do so, you have a right to stop paying rent until the problem is fixed.
For injuries, the operator or owner would be held liable, and the claim would be filed like any other personal injury claim. As such, the personal injury statute of limitations would also apply, which is three years from the date of the injury in the state of Massachusetts.
Liable Parties for Bed Bug Injuries:
- Apartment Owners
- Furniture Stores
- Mattress Stores
- Delivery Truck Companies
- Storage Companies
- Moving Companies
- Rental Furniture Companies
- Pest Control Companies
- Used Mattress Companies
What Should I Do After a Bed Bug Injury?
Hotel operators and owners of apartment buildings will often try to conceal any knowledge they might have had regarding an infestation or try to argue that the issue did not originate on their property. That is why it is important for you to do your due diligence do everything within your power to begin strengthening your case.
- After you first notice you have been bitten by bed bugs, it is crucial to take the following steps:
- Pick up some bugs with tweezers and place them in plastic zip lock bags to show the dermatologist.
- Take photos of the infested furniture or mattress.
- Save copies or take notes of every report or correspondence you make to property or hotel management regarding the incident and any actions they might have taken or promised to take to rectify it.Don’t sign any waivers or releases, even if they offer to refund your money, comp your hotel stay or rent.
- Contact the health department to determine if any other reports were filed against the property, if none were filed, fill them yourself. Report which furniture store, mattress store, hotel or apartment where the bed bugs originated.
- In addition to keeping a detailed record of all correspondence, be sure also to keep a record of every individual you speak with, including the property manager, housekeeper, or exterminator.
- Keep all the receipts for all costs incurred from the bed bug infestation. This includes medical bills, prescriptions, hotel costs, exterminator costs, cleaning, or replacement costs of bed or furniture.
- Seek medical attention for your bug bites. This is not only beneficial for your health but your claim as well. We recommend seeking medical help from a dermatologist. If you collected bed bugs at the time of the incident, bring samples to show your doctor.
- Be sure to remove the bed bug issue from your clothing or furniture. If you have to discard any of these items, do so, and make a note of it.
- Move out of the room or apartment building you are in.
You should also be sure to contact a premises liability attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. It is likely the property owner or manager will do what they can to avoid responsibility and a skilled and experienced attorney will know what to do to protect your rights.
Filing a Lawsuit
Before filing a lawsuit, send your landlord a written demand letter, which states your legal rights and what you want from the landlord. Your attorney can help you prepare this letter. Additionally, you should also take some time to prepare the evidence for your case, such as photos of the problem and your injuries, complaint letters you sent to your landlord or manager, and statements from other tenants in the building who are also likely suffering from the same problem. If you hired an exterminator, keep the receipts.
Damages You Can Recover
You are entitled to recover various damages for the injuries you suffered, including but not limited to the following:
- Medical Bills (ER, urgent care, primary doctor, dermatologist, prescriptions, ointments, etc.)
- Lost Wages
- Total refund of your hotel costs plus payment or credit for putting you up at a different hotel (not in a different room at the same hotel) – but DO NOT SIGN ANY RELEASE at absolves them of liability in exchange for getting what you are entitled to as this could waive your right to collect further damages from them
- Pain and Suffering, Emotional Distress, Anxiety, Sleepless nights
- Permanency if scarring does not resolve after one year
- Spouse’s loss of consortium if you were legally married at the time of the incident
- Cleaning, laundry and other costs of destroying bed bugs, larvae and eggs
- Cost of replacement or market value of personal items you had to destroy due to the infestation, such as suitcases, clothing, toiletry kit, lunch bag; and if the bugs were brought home by you unknowingly and became a problem in your own premises, the costs of pest control, substitute living costs if you had to vacate during the spraying and pest control steps due to young child; cost of cleaning furniture at home, plastic covering, and costs of replacing furniture that could not be guaranteed clean of bed bugs
- In some cases, our Mass. Chapter 93A, the so-called “Consumer Protection Statute” allows for double or treble damages for misrepresentation and consumer fraud if a 30 day demand letter was sent by your attorney certified mail and the elements of the law are proven at trial.
While most cases settle before suit, some cases will be filed in suit where necessary and may go to trial if it is necessary in order to achieve just compensation for what you have been put through due to the negligence of the hotel in training and supervising the staff, having regular pest control, due careful inspections before letting the room out to customers, and failing to resolve the situation promptly with guests. The innkeeper in Massachusetts is held to a high standard of care and we will seek to prove that they fell way below that high standard in allowing you to occupy a disgusting bed bug infested hotel room.
Speak with a Top-Rated Hotel Bed Bug Lawyer in Springfield, MA Today
Bed bugs do not just inflict physical injury. An infestation can be devastating and often lead to deep psychological trauma in victims, impacting all aspects of life, including work. These parasites might be small, but the problem is quite big and warrants legal action, especially when landlords and hotel operators are unwilling to effectively address the problem. Instead of suffering in silence, seek the legal assistance of a skilled premises liability attorney. A Good Law Firm has a team of experienced attorneys in Springfield with a passion for justice and a commitment to obtaining real results.
Backed by over 40 years of personal injury experience and a track record of success, you can be confident in our ability to effectively represent your case. Call us today at (413) 736-1616 to discuss the details of your matter.