The lawyer for a bedbug-bitten Fox News employee suing the landlord and maintenance company of 1211 Avenue of the Americas today blamed his client’s condition on foreign visitors to New York.
“My position is that it comes from foreigners,” Mr. Schnurman told The Observer. “Because it became so inexpensive for foreigners to travel here, I believe they brought it into our hotel system.”
His client, Joan Clark, claims in her lawsuit in New York Supreme Court that she’s “suffering from emotional distress” from the bedbug attacks inside the News Corp. headquarters at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, which is owned by Beacon Capital Partners.
The distress is preventing her from returning to work or maintaining her daily routine, following three separate biting incidents between October and April of 2007. Although her entire department was moved to a different floor, the bedbugs moved with them, according to Mr. Schnurman.
Ms. Clark is also suing the maintenance company of 1211 Avenue of the Americas and is seeking workman’s compensation from Fox News. Ms. Clark, who worked on the satellite desk in the newsroom, claims she repeatedly asked and got assurance from her supervisors that the environment was safe.
“My client is so acutely injured that she can’t take the subway and she is being seen by a doctor three times a week,” said Mr. Schnurman, who has handled “hundreds” of bedbug cases, most of which have been settled out of court. “She would literally take off all her clothes at the door and put on house clothes before she would even touch her baby.
“People smile when they here this, but until it happens to you, you don’t know what its like.”
For the record, Ms. Clark had no history of mental illness prior to the bedbug attacks.