Suing Over Bed Bugs – What You Need to Know

Planes, trains, automobiles, hotels, apartments, houses, and even movie theaters – what do all these places have in common? Bed bugs have attacked people there!

In Southern California a family was awarded $1.6 million against their apartment owner for suffering a bed bug infestation that left their child, then just a baby, with permanent scars. The family suffered for months with bed bugs at the Kahala Islander Apartments in Inglewood in 2010.

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An Arkansas family that complained of bed bug bites while staying at a Rancho Cucamonga, CA hotel has been awarded $546,000. Only a few hours after going to bed, the family members awoke with bites and rashes. According to the lawsuit the manager knew of the bed bugs in the room but failed to disclose it to the hotel guests.

16 tenants won a $3.5 million verdict against Park La Brea Apartments, with individual awards ranging from $34,000 to $470,200, despite combined medical costs totaling only about $2,200.


When you’re on the move, whether for vacation or moving to a new property, take care to inspect for signs of bed bugs.

Check dark, enclosed areas like behind headboards, baseboards, and picture frames, and even the seams of the mattress and the box spring. Telltale indicators of bed bugs include dark brown or black stains or mounds left behind as defecation, white eggs, and shedded skins.

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Everyone knows you shouldn’t buy a used mattress, but bed bugs can even be lodged in “new” furniture sold at stores, particularly bed furniture, such as frames, box springs, and mattresses.


Immediately document your injuries with photos and/or video. Record a written description, as well, of the dates and times you observed bites or other injuries. If you obtain any treatment for your injuries, keep the receipts and notes on why you were treated. Bed bug bites can even leave permanent scars.

You should also immediately notify the owner and/or authorized agent where ever you are staying or living. If your first notification isn’t in writing, try to follow up with a written notification, such as by email, fax or letter, and keep a copy of all correspondence.

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If you have to take time off from work or even hobbies to deal with the bedbug problem, keep track of your lost time.

Since emotional distress is an important element of any bed bug lawsuit, make sure you note symptoms like anxiety, sleeplessness, fear, or obsessive need to clean. The psychological effects of being a bed bug victim can last for years ….

Keep track of any personal property that is damaged by the bed bug infestation. Items such as clothing, furniture, luggage, backpacks, sheets, pillows, and mattresses, that were infested with bed bugs will need to be thrown out.

The types of damages a bed bug victim can recover include:

Economic damages: medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.

Noneconomic damages: pain and suffering, emotional harm and punitive damages.

Have you ever encountered bed bugs? Do you still suffer lingering effects? Who was to blame?

10 comments on “Suing Over Bed Bugs – What You Need to Know

  1. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Andy Estrada on

    Just delt with them today and my son and I have multiple bites and some of the bites i sustained became permanant scars. What should i do?

  2. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Andrea Ritchie on

    My experience at the Fountainebleau 211 Salty Kisses was ruined by bed bugs. The next morning after our first night staying there, my mother woke up stating that she thought the room had bed bugs due to having a huge whelp on her arm from a bite. I was hoping maybe it was just a spider or something so that our vacation wasn’t ruined by an infestation. The bites continued to happen every night and I had started to notice bites in myself as well, I was again hoping that it was not bed bugs so that my vacation that I paid for wouldn’t be ruined. One night I was laying in the bed watching television and a small bug I had never seen before crawled on my arm, I grabbed it and flushed it down the toilet. The last night I noticed a bug that was larger than the first bug I found was crawling on the AC unit, I picked it up with toilet paper and flushed it down the toilet. Day of check out, we removed all of the bedding as instructed by the room check out requirements(a small sign on the door) and my denials were confirmed, when I was lifting the sheets I saw 2 adult bed bugs crawling in the sheets trying to run away from the light.

    I have NEVER had bed bugs in my life, but I have an uncle who is an exterminator and he confirmed the picture I sent is in fact a bed bug that had recently fed. Now the problem has followed me home and I want it taken care of. This is EXTREMELY unprofessional, uncleanly, and negligent of the properties you manage. My skin is literally crawling writing this email thinking about having slept and having to sleep in an infestation caused by what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation by the Gulf, but instead I now have the stress of dealing with this issue. My son and I are now covered in bites. This happened 7/17/19, I need a lawyer.

  3. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Anonymous on

    My local Sam’s club I work at (4836)
    Recently was infested with these pests in the break room couches, and management was already aware of it but never did anything but sprayed the furniture with bleach water….
    This has happened near may to june this year and word went away till now when I started to go back upstairs and now my legs has scar spots everywhere from them, I’ve done my major tasks to clear them out of my room. But doubtfully the managers over the store won’t do anything to pay for the cost of clearing the bugs…

  4. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
  5. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Sharon Horsfall on

    I have told my Hotel front desk manager and house keepers multiple times that i have bed bugs in my room and all i hear are freaking excuses my right arm is covered in bed bug bite marks! and i’m still getting them! the bites were starting to clear up and now i’m being bitten by them again! i’ve had enough and it’s bad enough because i can’t move anywhere else because i don’t have the money to move on right now (i currently live at the Econo Lodge in Ardmore Oklahoma room 124 2700 W Broadway St, Ardmore, OK 73401) and i’m about ready to sue them i even have video evidence that my room has bed bugs and bites on my arm and hell i feel shaky just wiring this because i’ve never done this before and i’m still itchy from the bite marks if you can do anything about this please do feel free to contact me at 580-693-0500

  6. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Edward Keeme on

    Yes I moved in here on August 1st from a rest home I was suffering from a broken ankle as soon as I got here I got bit by a bed bugs the people who run this place immediately got rid of my mattress and then you buy me another one I slept on the floor the next night and got bit even more and then he brought bought me a mattress that was nothing but wrapped plastic with wood so I called my sister and ask her if she can buy me a bed and send it over my whole body is riddled with bed bug bites arms legs stomach back hips I have pictures

  7. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Edward Keeme on

    down in the transition house right now that is full of bed bugs they fit me the first night I was here and they continue to bite me is there anything that I can do can you guys help me

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  9. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Peggy seaman on

    i still have sores after almost a month i went to the emergency 4 times and my dr 2 times i have horrible scars from the bites it has caused me a lot of anxiety and stress it was and still is painful and embarrassing i had to call the health dep to get my landlord to call a exterminater

  10. Avatar for Mary Mock mmock
    Ivory Carrell on

    I been in my house for 3 plus years fighting bed bugs the owner have sent someone before but I explained that whatever product they were using wasn’t working that the house probably need to be rented. I have lost a lot of furniture and my children constantly getting bit up I have tried to exterminate myself but nothing’s working and I’m getting little to no help from the property management.


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