An assistant tennis coach and her group checked into a hotel in October 2012 for a tennis meet.
She ended up meeting bedbugs, and filed a lawsuit. As a result of the bedbugs, she was forced to chop off her cherished, waist-length dreadlocks she had grown for 13 years.
“If you know how long it takes to grow dreadlocks, you understand the trauma of losing my hair,” she said.Bedbugs in the hotel also led to trauma that affects her during travel now. She has to travel a lot for my work, and every time she has to stay at a hotel she gets filled with anxiety.
This lawsuit is exemplary of the growing litigation over bedbugs that have become a nuisance nationally. The majority of the suits are between hotels and guests, or tenants and landlords.
Populations of Cimex lectularius or bedbugs, which are a bloodsucking parasite, had dropped off during the mid-20th century, but have seen an alarming resurgence across the United States.
While not known to transmit disease, the red welts left by the nocturnal bugs’ feeding — typically in a straight-line pattern of bites — can cause unbearable itching and swelling, as well as more serious allergic reactions.
It was on the second day of her stay that a manager informed her that an inspection of her room was needed because bed bugs were discovered in an adjacent room.
She watched as exterminators confirmed the bugs in her headboard, before her relocation to another room, but by then tell-tale welts had appeared.
At the time she went to the urgent care facility, the red bumps extended from her hands and arms to her shoulders and neck. The physician was also concerned that the bed bugs might have gotten into her hair, which she wore in a long, dreadlock style. A week later she was forced to cut her locks.