A lawsuit over a bedbug infestation has won a Maryland woman $800,000 in a lawsuit against her landlord, according to reporting in the Huffington Post. This is not the only such lawsuit that has been filed. According to the same reporting, 300 people who dwell in the same apartment building filed a class action lawsuit against their landlord for the same reason. Seeking an even bigger jury award, another woman in NY has filed a lawsuit against the company that owns Holiday Inn, seeking $7 million in damages over being bitten by bedbugs while at one of the hotel chain’s establishment.
The Maryland Suit Over Bedbugs
The Maryland lawsuit was filed by a woman who claimed that her landlord knew about the infestation, but did not disclose that information to the woman. The lawsuit alleged that the woman ended up suffering serious bites from the parasites. The landlord had been ordered to take care of the bedbug problem by the city previous to the woman renting the property.
Her lawsuit also alleged that the landlord retaliated after she reported the problem, eventually evicting her from the property. The size of the jury award was increased by punitive damages, which totaled $650,000.
Not Disclosing the Danger
Lawsuits such as this, and many others filed against landlords, oftentimes allege that the landlord was aware of some issue with the property and failed to take action, thereby causing their tenant to come to harm. A woman who was assaulted in New York, for example, sued her landlord several years ago and won as she had complained about the locks on her door not functioning and that proved to be the way that her assailant got access to her home. The bedbug lawsuits are similar in the regard that the landlords were notified of the problem, failed to take action and, in the case of the Maryland lawsuit, even retaliated against tenants for reporting an issue with the property.
Knowing Your Rights
Because landlords do have control over a property, it is hard for tenants to press issues against them, particularly when they’re facing the threat of being evicted in retaliation, in some cases. Tenants, however, do have rights and landlords can be held responsible if they are negligent in how they maintain their properties or respond to client complaints. Personal injury attorneys can generally handle these claims and help their clients to file lawsuits.