They’re Baa-ack! Bed Bugs Strike Again at Vornado’s Hotel Penn, Lawsuit Says

hotelpenn 2 Theyre Baa ack! Bed Bugs Strike Again at Vornados Hotel Penn, Lawsuit SaysNew York City’s bed bug scourge continues to wreak pain, fear, high extermination expenses, and the occasional overblown lawsuit against real estate moguls.

A Massachusetts woman has sued Vornado Realty Trust, claiming that her September 2009 stay at the Hotel Pennyslvania caused her to “to be bitten by bugs in the bed and/or premises provided by defendants.”

The rather overwrought lawsuit reads:

“[P]laintiff was caused to sustain serious injuries and to have suffered pain, shock, mental anguish; that these injuries and its effects will be permanent; as a result of said injuries plaintiff was caused and will continue to be caused to incur expenses for medical care and attention; and plaintiff was and will continue to be rendered unable to perform plaintiff’s normal activities and duties and has sustained a resultant loss therefrom.”

While the litigant’s allegations do seem a tad overblown, bed-bug-caused PTSD is not unheard of.

She does not specify how much in damages she is seeking.

Vornado did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is not the first time the Hotel Pennsylvania, at Seventh Avenue and 33rd Street, has gotten a bad rap for bed bug infestation. In 2005, a group of tourists sued the hotel after having been bitten by bed bugs there. They ultimately settled for $100,000.

That said, bed bug infestations are notoriously difficult to eliminate.

According to the University of California Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, “Managing a bed bug infestation is a difficult task that requires removal or treatment of all infested material and follow-up monitoring to ensure the infestation has been eliminated and does not return. Management will require employing several nonchemical methods such as vacuuming, washing bedding at a high temperature, using steam or heat treatment, and sealing up hiding places.”

Vornado chairman Steve Roth is not the only New York landlord tarred by bed-bug infestations recently. In the past two years, the Penguin building at 375 Hudson was infested; as was, allegedly, the News Corp.-occupied 1211 Avenue of the Americas. Maybe Rupert Murdoch could offer him some pest-management advice. 

drubinstein@observer.com

 

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