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Largest Bed Bug Verdict in U.S. – Tenants Get $1.6 Million! – by the Editors of the Rental Housing Journal

Posted on 01. Jun, 2018 by in all, Magazine Articles

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A jury has awarded a California family $1.6 million in one of the largest single bed bug case awards ever reported against an apartment owner, according to a release.

Liliana Martinez told NBC in Los Angeles her family suffered for months with bed bugs at the Kahala Islander Apartments in Inglewood, California in 2010. She said her child, a baby at the time, was covered in bites.

“Just seeing how he would scratch all the time and nothing would heal because it would just start bleeding again. It was very emotional, very stressful,” she told the television station.

The family says they complained to apartment management and were told to throw out all of their furniture and sleep on the floor. But it took months to eradicate the bugs. The lawyer who represents the apartment building declined to comment on the case.

The defendant in the case, Amusement Six Apartments LLC, owns an apartment complex in Inglewood and simply didn’t respond appropriately to the Plaintiffs complaints about bedbugs, according to Yahoo news.

According to the suit, it took management nine days to initially schedule bedbug treatment, and when they did, the pest control operator left handfuls of chemical all over their belongings and carpet.  When the plaintiffs complained about the chemical, the management told them there was nothing they could do, and they should vacuum a square area in their living room to sleep on with their two young children.

Although they then agreed to change the carpet, it took them three months to do so, and all the while, the bed bugs were feeding and breeding in the carpet until it was changed.  The family continued to receive bedbug bites the entire time.

[The tenant’s attorney] obtained the $1.6 million verdict for the family and said in a release it was the largest verdict for a single family for bed bugs in the U.S.  He represented the family of four including a three-year old boy and a three-month old baby girl who were all bitten by bed bugs.  His clients were all exposed to bedbugs between July and October of 2012. (The case was Liliana Martinez Et. Al. v. Amusement Six Apartments, LLC.)

The young boy, Jorge Maravilla Jr., who was three years old at the time of the bedbug exposure, was covered in bed bug bites.  He has significant residual scarring to the day.  The jury awarded Jorge Jr. $880,000.

This is the fifth landmark verdict obtained by [this attorney] in the last 12 months that included a 3.5 million-dollar verdict against PLB Management, and a $546,000 verdict in October against the Hilton Garden Inn in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, whose clients were exposed to bed bugs for a one-night hotel stay.

Sixteen former and current residents of one of Los Angeles’ largest apartment complexes  won a $3.5 million verdict over an infestation of bed bugs in their units last year, [the attorney] told the Los Angeles Times. Park La Brea Apartments, a sprawling complex with more than 4,000 units in the Miracle Mile District, was found liable by a jury in Los Angeles Superior Court .

 

RentalHousingJournal.com is an interactive community of multifamliy investors, independent rental home owners, residential property management professionals and other rental housing and real estate professionals. It is the most comprehensive source for news and information for the rental housing industry. Their website features exclusive articles and blogs on real estate investing, apartment market trends, property management best practices, landlord tenant laws, apartment marketing, maintenance and more.