A Family Awarded The Highest Amount Ever Paid to A Single Family in the USA Bedbug Case!
Court Documents say Infestation leads to discomfort, sleeplessness, property damage, and emotional distress. This was published in independent.co.uk by Christina Caron on Thursday 5 April 2018 at 23:24 with ref. The New York Times.
A family in California has been awarded nearly $1.6m (£1.14m) by a civil jury due to their son was permanently scarred by bedbug bites.
According to the family’s lawyer, it was the highest amount ever paid to a single family in the USA for a bedbug case.
Lilliana Martinez, 34, explained that the problem began in 2012, two years after she and her husband moved into an apartment in Inglewood, California. They find that their 3-year-old son, Jorge Maravilla, had red spots all over his body, including on his face.
They took him to the hospital and a Doctor ensures that all spots are from Bug bites. She said she was shocked because she had never seen anything like that before. The doctor advised the couple to investigate their house for pests. Ms. Martinez said her 3 months aged daughter was also bitten on the back as she slept.
On Monday, a civil jury in Alhambra, California, ordered the owner of the apartment, Amusement Six Apartments, after deliberating for a day, to pay the family $1,593,500.
Mr. Brian Virag, the lawyer recently won a case that awarded $3.5m to residents of a large apartment complex in Los Angeles that was also infested with bedbugs. The lawyer said it’s important to give a voice to those who don’t have a voice or who can’t stand up for justice on their own.
The couple informed the management company, Westland Industries, about the infestation right away and were instructed to throw out all of their furniture, including the baby’s crib.
The management company then sent a professional exterminator to fumigate the apartment, blanketing it in white powder, and vacuum the place on the floor where the couple with their children slept. She explained that they slept there because they didn’t have anywhere else to go.
Finally, after they had lived with Bed bugs for nearly four months, the management company removed the carpeting in the apartment, and then end the infestation. Before that, they continued to get bitten and made numerous complaints. They stayed for two years more and then eventually moving out in 2014.
In the same year, they sued Amusement Six Apartments for breach of warranty of habitability, emotional distress, negligence, and breach of contract, among other charges.
The family suffered “slum-type living conditions” in the apartment, according to the complaint, including a cockroach infestation. They also suffered discomfort, sleeplessness, property damage, and emotional distress, according to court documents, as the bedbugs creep into their belongings.
The lawyers representing the company declined to comment on the court decision.
Their son Jorge, who is eight years now, had the strongest reaction to the bites. He still has scars on his legs, arms, and torso from constant scratching for bugs biting. Ms. Martinez is hoping that they can find a way to remove the marks with some of the money.
Ms. Martinez said the jury’s judgment was a great relief and brought justice to her son. They went to court for him because this marked him for his life.