California Landlord Learns $1.6M Bed Bug Lesson

By George Khoury, Esq. on April 11, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

While there are plenty of suspected origins for the old rhyme "good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite," one California Landlord is learning one of the lesser known reasons why bed bugs should be avoided: Million dollar jury awards.

After several months of living through a bed bug infestation that left a young boy permanently scarred, a family was recently awarded just under $1.6 million by a jury. The landlord and management company were found liable as a result of the infestation causing the young boy's scarring, and the family extreme distress.

Permanently Scarred Into Memory and Skin

In the lawsuit, the family explained that at first, the landlord advised them to throw away all their furniture. Then, the landlord fumigated. Sadly, the family was forced to sleep on the floor due to the lack of furniture and options. After that failed to rid the residence of the problem, the landlord changed out all the carpets, which did cure the problem.

However, it took four months to sort out the bed bug problem. Meanwhile, the family's infant son, and other child, were being repeatedly bitten. The older of the two children could not stop from scratching the bites until they bled, causing the scarring.

The mother described feeling helpless, shameful, and afraid. Having to throw away all their furniture as well as watch her children suffer was traumatic. While the large jury verdict may make the future a little better, the older child's scarring is a daily reminder of what the family endured. Notably, half the verdict has been earmarked for the older child. The family has stated that when they plan to address his scarring with the money (unfortunately, unless the need is critical, children generally need to wait a rather long time before doctors will recommend scar revision surgery).

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