New 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.
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