$800K Infestation: Tenant Wins Bedbug LawsuitBy: Amanda Crum - June 4, 2013
$800K for some bedbugs? One Maryland woman is celebrating a victory in court after filing suit against her apartment building’s owner due to losing “practically everything” in a bedbug infestation.
69-year old Faika Shaaban said she suffered hundreds of bites and other physical problems as a result of the bugs, which she claimed the building’s owner–Cornelius J. Barrett–knew about before he allowed her to move in back in 2011. She said he also ignored complaints about the nasty critters from several tenants. Shaaban was eventually evicted and was forced to move her belongings outside, where they were stolen.
The case marks the largest award yet in similar lawsuits, and legal pros say they expect to see many more people stepping forward with bedbug claims.
“You are going to see a rapid growth of bedbug claims over the next decade. There are enough lawyers who are getting trained so that people will be able to find lawyers, so that people will find a way to get relief,” said lawyer Tom Campbell of Birmingham, Alabama.
The landlord has been cited a fine for the infestation and the property is now in foreclosure; Shaaban’s attorneys consider it a warning to other property owners and say it’s an “opportunity to send a message to the community, to landlords, that you must abate it.”