I was sent a press release today from lawyers working on a bed bug case. The news release is at PRforLAW.com and I have quoted some of the release below.
One Of The World’s Premier Luxury Hotels, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London, Rented Bed Bug-Infested Room To Prominent Licensing / Intellectual Property Attorney And Wife; Bites From the Parasites Located In Bug-Ridden Headboard Caused Hundreds Of Painful, Itchy, Swollen, Red Lesions In Their Faces, Eyelids, Backs, Shoulders, Necks, Arms And Hands; Parasites Embedded Themselves In Luggage, Which Caused New Infestation In Victims’ NYC Apartment, Federal Lawsuit Claims; Mandarin Oriental Admitted A Bed Bug Infestation Existed at the Hotel
NEW YORK CITY — Prominent licensing and intellectual property attorney Sidney Bluming, Esq., whose clients have included Elizabeth Taylor, Claudia Schiffer and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue models, is suing one of the world’s most exclusive hotels, London’s Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, for failing to prevent May 2006 bed bug attacks that seriously injured him and his wife and ruined the business trip for which they traveled to the U.K., according to Attorney Michael S. Weinstein.
Bluming and his wife then unknowingly transported the parasites with them back to New York. As a result, they had to discard furniture and personal items from their recently renovated Manhattan apartment and to their added embarrassment have the property fumigated, according to a federal Complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The press release claims that
The hotel took no precautions nor trained staff to prevent, or correct, bed bug infestation. During check-in the Blumings were initially advised that the room to which they were assigned was unavailable. Ultimately, they were assigned to the infested room for which they paid the conference rate of close to $500 USD per night. On the second night of their five-night stay, the Blumings noticed what first appeared as simple insect bites throughout their bodies. The bites multiplied each night of their stay, according to the Complaint.
Upon returning to New York the couple immediately sought medical attention and advised the hotel’s general manager of the bites they suffered during their stay. Bluming’s physician took a biopsy, while his wife’s physician and oncologist were consulted. As the Blumings worried about the cause of the lesions, the hotel withheld from them for nearly a week the knowledge that bed bug infestation was toblame, the Complaint states.
Defendant entities based in Hong Kong, London, and the U.S. were served in late December with the five-count Complaint. Fraud, Deceptive Trade Practice, Negligence, Recklessness, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, and Nuisance are alleged in the Complaint which seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
The final statement makes it clear that no one is immune to the anxiety bed bugs can produce:
“Sidney and Cynthia Bluming have great difficulty sleeping through the night. They wake up fitfully to check their bed for infestation or see if they’ve been bitten by bed bugs. They fear staying in a hotel. And they worry that the lab report which Mandarin Oriental is withholding could reveal additional health concerns originating from the bed bug infestation.” Weinstein said. “One of the most exclusive hotel chains in the world is turning a cold shoulder to customers it failed to protect. The Mandarin Oriental’s lack of responsibility, absence of compassion and refusal to provide additional information are shocking.”