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Of Bedbugs and Lawsuits

Posted: November 29th, 2010 | Author: | | Tags: | 1 Comment »

“There’s Only One Way to Deal With Bedbugs: Release the Sharks.”  So says the Maryland attorney who has been filing some high profile lawsuits, with hefty damages from $100,000 to 3.5 million. 

Christopher Robinette, a professor at Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, Pa., wrote a review of the lawsuits in the TortProfsBlog, expressing some skepticism about the enormity of the damages being sought.  According to his article, a previous case (Mathias) sets the bar pretty high for securing punitive damages.

Finally, a fairly standard punies regime requires a plaintiff to prove some type of conscious and deliberate behavior on the part of the defendant.  In Mathias, the hotel owners were informed about the bed bugs.  Instead of paying for a $500 extermination, the owners allowed the bed bug situation to fester for nearly two years.  It was widely known the hotel had bed bugs.  There were certain rooms that employees were not supposed to rent out because of the bugs, yet the rooms were rented if there were not enough other rooms available.  Guests were informed the bugs were ticks (as if that’s better!).  Under these circumstances, the court upheld a punies verdict of $186,000.  If proving notice in the Maryland cases will require the discovery of significant facts, for punies the bar is even higher. 

Is bedbug bling the fashion of tomorrow?

One Comment on “Of Bedbugs and Lawsuits”

  1. 1 Tweets that mention Nix Bedbugs » Blog Archive » Of Bedbugs and Lawsuits -- Topsy.com said at 8:22 pm on November 30th, 2010:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Heather Morgan, Nix Bed Bugs. Nix Bed Bugs said: Release the sharks! http://www.nixbedbugs.com/2010/11/of-bedbugs-and-lawsuits/ #bedbugs #legaldrama […]

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