Brooklyn woman suing, apparently because of half-a$$ed treatment for bed bugs

by nobugsonme on March 7, 2007 · 39 comments

in bed bugs, housing laws, legal aspects of bed bugs, new york, usa

by Nobugsonme

Yes, I used a bad word, but I it’s just the half-a$$sed implication of a bad word, my friends. I don’t like to post right on the heels of Bugzinthehood, but this one goes out to Parakeets:

1010WINS radio reports that this woman is suing her landlord because treatment was ineffective.

[Her Attorney Alan] Schnurnan said she notified her landlord, who had an exterminator do “cursory spraying,” but that the problem persisted. She left because she was afraid to stay and couldn’t sleep knowing the apartment was infested, and because the landlord and building management did nothing further to help, her lawyer said.

[Ellyn] Gliksman-Sullivan has been commuting four hours a day to her Manhattan job from her home in Upstate New York.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Kings County Supreme Court against the owner, Manhattan Eight Corporation and Isaac Wade, the managing agent.

Here’s a CBS clip on the same story, including perhaps the worst “you’ll know you have bedbugs if” advice ever.

Update 3/8: Here it is in the Daily News, which says the infestation began in June and went through December.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
1 Bugalina March 8, 2007 at 8:18 am

“I say it was brought in from the person in the apartment. That’s all I can say, I’ve heard of no one else complaining,” the neighbor said.
Well they will be complaining real soon. Bed Bugs travel 20-30ft. in one hour…I hope Ms. Ellen wins because landlords have to hire capable , qualified PCO’s or pay the price.

2 nobugsonme March 8, 2007 at 1:49 pm

Hi Bugalina,

It’s true that some landlords hire faulty PCOs and/or don’t follow up on complaints. If that’s what happened, and it does happen a lot, then hopefully this will help get the point across.

It’s also true that some tenants don’t persist with treatment long enough for it to be effective. It’s not clear how many times she was treated or how, or if she persisted with the landlord.

We don’t know all the facts yet. I’d like to know more details. But I do think it’s very interesting that a tenant is suing a landlord. I am not aware of any tenant cases tried outside of housing court (which is a totally different ballgame). Usually hotel guests sue, not tenants.

3 hopelessnomo' March 8, 2007 at 8:47 pm

I don’t know. I’m concerned about what exactly would constitute a good outcome for the thousands of regular NYC tenants who need cooperative, good-faith landlords.

Just a note about NY: everyone must weigh their own decisions, but if you are renting in NYC and need to rent for the foreseeable future, you should get competent advice and think long and hard before doing anything like withholding rent and/or taking your landlord to court. Landlord blacklisting is not fair but one better not have any illusions about this!

Obviously what would be bad for the cause is any losing decision written in such a way as to set an inhibitive precedent. Maybe lawyers reading can comment? The Ludlow decision (the 2004 housing court case) acknowledged that bedbugs are mighty resilient but also weighed the fact that the landlord had not exterminated building-wide (while also characterizing the landlord’s extermination efforts as diligent!). The court thought the Ludlow landlord had been diligent. Pause.

Eradicating bedbugs is difficult and even diligent efforts fail.

Let’s hope for everyone’s sake that this suit has the merit its status as possibly the first tenant-landlord civil suit deserves.

4 nobugsonme March 8, 2007 at 11:00 pm

Nomo, you make some good points.

A few things are quite different: one is that way more people are aware of bed bugs now than in 2003 (the period of infestation during which the Ludlow case covers), and more PCOs know more about what needs to be done than they did then.

But beyond that, landlords, tenants and PCOs still desperately need to learn about these bugs. Landlords need to learn how to deal with them and why it’s important to get a good PCO fast (and not just the monthly roach spray guy, either). PCOs need to learn to deal with bed bugs, and (sadly) many in NYC are experts, but not all. Tenants also need to learn about bed bugs, and how to seek help, cooperate with PCOs, and demand follow-up.

I hope the case will help raise awareness, while also making things better for NYC tenants, but you’re right that it may not.

As an aside, given the litigious culture we live in, I think this case was inevitable.

5 parakeets March 9, 2007 at 5:35 pm

Yes, if you want to rent again in the same city you probably don’t want to sue your landlord. Landlords share databases of litigious tenants. If you file a suit, it is a matter of public record so they will know. Apparently this is legal for landlords to do, but the existance of such practices is rather “hush hush.”

I am concerned about the difficulty of detecting bedbugs, the difficulty of eradicating them, and what will be an increasing rise of “bed bug cons.” Don’t think there hasn’t been a family or two who have bedbugs in their apartment–but, to make money, bring bed bugs into a hotel, say they got them at the hotel, and sue for an undisclosed amount, showing photos of the existing bites on their body. (This con game is a version of an old one where you supposedly get a stain on your suit from the wait staff at a restaurant and submit the bill to the restaurant). It would also be very easy to deliberately bring bedbugs into a building if you didn’t like your roommate, neighbors, or landlord. Sort of a “bedbug arson.” Don’t think it isn’t happening.

However, I don’t feel sorry for landlords. They have much more money behind them and band together much better than tenants to effect legal lobbying. I think pretty soon bedbugs will probably become the tenants’ responsibility in rental housing, the way they are in condos. Except for city housing, I think the cost of bedbug treatment is passed on to the tenants anyway.

6 nobugsonme March 9, 2007 at 5:49 pm

Parakeets–
You’re making some good points too.
Ultimately the cost of lawsuits is passed on, which is partly why medical care is so costly, and it can make things worse for tenants, especially the potential for fraudulent suits that Parakeets points to.
The problem with the treatment being directly the tenant’s responsibility is that it will encourage even more people to ignore or put up with infestations (add those to the ones who aren’t allergic and so can’t tell until they have a serious problem). And then there’s the people who can’t afford it. Entire buildings would go down due to this. The landlord can’t evict everyone for being negligent because he can’t rent a completely infested building…

Anybody want to talk about something cheerful, like, say, global warming? 😉

7 parakeets March 9, 2007 at 6:11 pm

Ha ha, “something cheerful like global warming.” Yup, if it gets hot enough on this planet, it will kill all the bedbugs.

8 Cinnamongirl March 10, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Everyone is talking as if the tenant is at fault. Worried about precedent? That is understandable. I am assuming you have all been traumatized by bedbugs in some way. Well some details about this case is that after 6 months, and it was 6 months because of the sheer dumbness about the subject of bedbugs. So first, education MUST get out there so other multiple dwellers don’t stay on their high horse and think they are safe when one of their neighbors has it.

Another detail in this case, is it the tenant that is obligated to purue? After 6 months wouldn’t anyone who has been getting tennis-size welts all over their body be a mental/emotional sleep-deprived basketcase?

Before you go wondering about negligent rent-stabilized tenants and if you know anything at all about the misery that comes with bedbugs – THE LOSS. Then I think you can, possibly, assume that this particular tenant, who called 311, got not help, when to HPD to get a Violation order for them to fix it immediately, did all that they could do. All that info was out there. Read!

9 nobugsonme March 10, 2007 at 6:53 pm

Hi Cinnamongirl, and welcome.
I was surprised to hear you say that we are all talking as if the tenant is at fault, because I don’t see that above. I think we’re reacting in as balanced a way that we can when we don’t have all the facts. Also, the three sources I cite above (CBS, Daily News, and 1010Wins) do not say she called HPD or filed a violation with them. i’d be happy to post links to articles mentioning those facts, which certainly paint a clearer picture.

On the other hand you should realize that every case on bed bugs affects everyone else with bed bugs, and also (as people have pointed out) the possibility for lawsuits to make things worse for others.

While you’re accusing us of needing to read more, and before you accuse us of knowing nothing of the loss bed bugs can cause, you should have a look around this site. We (everyone above) has or had a traumatic struggle with bed bugs. And we often say that education is needed to help make things better.

10 Bugalina March 10, 2007 at 11:30 pm

Cinnamongirl..Please reread my post..I clearly stated that I hope Ms. Ellen WINS…In any business venture there is a risk…Well here comes the Risk for landlords…Bed Bugs !! I highly doubt that the burden of extermination will be passed along to the tenant….Its just not plausible..way too many variables…Its the landlord who is going to have to deal with bed bug extermination…. if they don’t their real estate investment will be branded as a health violation, “infested”… I hope this woman wins in court…Her victory would send a clear message to landlords ….bed bugs must be eradicated … If a landlord refuses to exterminate they should be held liable for infesting any and all surrounding properties…

11 nobugsonme March 10, 2007 at 11:54 pm

Some of us are more skeptical about this case, because we don’t have all of the facts. Bugalina, I agree with you that landlords should pay for extermination (as is the law in NY), but we do not have all the facts in this case. I think any skepticism people have is about whether this is a case that will help bed bug sufferers. All lawsuits are not helpful, and we don’t have enough information to know if this is a strong case or not.

12 Cinnamongirl March 11, 2007 at 8:32 am

I didn’t read the Chicago case, but what was posted here about it is right on. In the Brooklyn case, if the 2 other apartments were known to have had bedbugs + other neighbors were to be educated about bed bugs, then there would be no case, I gather. Until the laws change on this or precedent is set, then we will have to give the tenants the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. If you have gone through the loss and anguish, you just might think the way I do. However, make no mistake, it’s these early cases that will pave the way and the landlords have the political power to get things changed their way for the “future” cases. What that means is that every rent stabilized tenant who is dealing with bed bugs needs to go public about it AND to their council person. Otherwise, down the road, we will just have to live with the laws that the landlords’ groups etch out for us.

Also, I do have lots of media experience and you should all know that what you read can vary EXTREMELY from the actual facts. There was one report on TV that stated this brooklyn woman was paying $100, another that said under $700. How many of you actually know all of your neighbors in a multi-dwelling building? Is it possible this neighbor didn’t even have a clue as to the situation?

You are right about one thing, we don’t have all the facts on the case so it’s hard to form any opinion except the one that says, if she had the anguish she says she did (must be evidence if such a reputable lawyer took the case I gather), then I, for one, am routing for her also AND us.

And yes, Bugalina, I saw your post and you are right on the mark 🙂

13 wantmyskinback March 11, 2007 at 9:54 am

To Cinnamongirl: What do you recommend private home owners in multiple dwellings do with regard to telling their neighbors? I.e. coop unit owners, or condominium owners…There is no “landlord” per say. And I can tell you in a cooperative dwelling people can be very letigious. The board can make it difficult for a person to “sell” their apartment, by turning down potential purchasers, or worse, by informing a potential purchaser that their “once” was a problem in the apartment (even though it is over let’s say) and the buyer can back out. A private co-op owner can risk their credit history (with the mortgage) and lose thier down payment which is tied up in their home — if the price gets re-negotiated….and can get royally screwed by this. If their was a law that allowed an owner total confidentiality, then MAYBE people would report to their coop corporations and let the managing agents take care of the problem— but somehow I don’t see this as being the case… and I fore see the actual unit owner being sued by their neighbors.

14 Bugalina March 11, 2007 at 10:24 am

wantmyskinback,, There have to be bylaws in coop bldgs…and/or condo bldgs…This bug epidemic must be addressed by the bldgs. bylaws…The bldg. must stand united . Anyone who lives and breathes and leaves their dwelling is susceptible to a bed bug infestation. So the sooner all bldgs. address this problem , the better. Placing blame on one owner is not the answer. But there must be a disclosure policy in place, if not , then the other owners are completely ignorant of what’s going on and the infestation will spread. I suggested awhile back that bldgs. appoint a person to act as a liason between all tenants..a very neutal party. Unfortunately there are no perfect solutions…but I put this question out there. What makes a person more vulnerable to litigation – disclosure or – non-disclosure ??? In my opinion, there should be a “protection of disclosure” clause in bldg. bylaws, so that no one can be sued for telling/disclosing the truth and further they protect themselves by making all attempts to deal with the infestation in the best way possible..again, when people buy a coop or condo unit , just like when a landlord buys a bldg., they have to be aware of the risks involved…If a person buys a unit that is attached to another unit, they have to know that “familial” problems can arise…there must be clearly stated laws that people must abide by…..to protect both themselves and others…..what say you ??? Deb

15 Cinnamongirl March 11, 2007 at 6:11 pm

Oh wow! You bring up great points. In a perfect world, disclosure is the only way to go. But as you know, we don’t live in a perfect world. I have no clue what to tell you about a co-op or condo. The only thing I can think of is that if you did keep it a secret and another apt. got it and found out you had it prior, you would be in deeper s**t than before. But yet, I would want to protect my property, aka future sale also. Very tough. I agree it should be in the bylaws especially if in NYC where it’s becoming a public problem for all.

16 hopelessnomo' March 12, 2007 at 6:12 pm

Hi Cinnamongirl, I’m sorry that you feel that we are not being supportive of someone who is possibly a “mental/emotional sleep-deprived basketcase” after 6 months of fighting bedbugs. Sounds ghastly, right?

Makes me feel guilty when you suggest that we are forgetting the all-engulfing misery of bedbugs, and not extending sympathy to this litigant, because, to tell you the truth, I am pretty well and truly traumatized by bedbugs. Yup, bedbugs got me real good.

And yet, because bedbugs are indeed such serious s**t (in the marvelous words of a funny bedbugger I read in another forum) I think I view this case in terms of the big law and policy issues. It may well be that important concepts such as what exactly constitutes diligence in extermination efforts and what are the (overlapping, wouldn’t you say?) boundaries of landlord/tenant/PCO responsibilities in treating an infestation–all of the good stuff–may get to be defined in a courtroom. I would hate to see a weak case pose these important questions.

Or maybe I’m just human and don’t want to back the wrong horse.

I am really intrigued by the information you cite which does not appear in the news reports. I do want to be fair, especially in a public forum, so I urge you to point us in the right direction, as we love to read closely and parse what is said and left unsaid and read original sources.

Anyway, just wanted to say that I get the trauma. And how. It’s just, well, we weren’t addressing that aspect I guess. I hope you stay awhile; this here is the greatest site on earth.

17 nobugsonme March 12, 2007 at 6:47 pm

Very well put, ‘Nomo.

18 Zakman March 13, 2007 at 5:06 pm

I am new to the post and I am intrigued by this story. Here is a post from bedbug registry that was found on the tenants building. I would assume it was her. “My apartment is infested because it took me a half-year to realize what it was. There was no evidence, except my welts/hives and since my spouse didn’t have the same, we thought it was me that had an allergy to something. My landlord sent an exterminator who was in and out in 10 minutes and didn’t do much to help. They wanted nothing to do with moving the furniture to exterminate where they were hiding (they were NOT in my mattress, but in my particle board type platform bed and behind the headboard). We packed up everything, except furniture, in Zip-Loc bags and moved to our upstate home, which was supposed to be a weekend home. I found out that 2 other apartments had bed bugs, one in my line above me and one next to me and one floor above, prior to my receiving my first bite, last June 14.” In my building the exterminator gives a prep sheet that states clearly that they are not responsible for moving furniture. If you do the math, she figured out about the end of 2006 that she had Bedbugs which means that we are talking about a story of two months. If she called for the exterminator and moved out right away as she implied, it sounds like she doesn’t have much to hold up in court. If she didn’t want to move the furniture she didn’t do her due diligence. Does she want them to wash her laundry for her too? Sometimes the tenants think bedbugs is a roach. It is understandable that she freaked out, but going to the media and suing so quickly, without going through the proper channels will probably kill her case.

19 Cinnamongirl March 13, 2007 at 6:50 pm

“Does she want them to wash her laundry for her too?”

Very intelligent statement from an intelligent poster who read between the lines of that tiny post and knows he’s right. I love it. Again, blame the tenant. How do you know what was done prior to “the media”. And if you experienced these critters, don’t you want as much publicity as possible.

People are their own worst enemy sometimes.

A Park Sloper

20 Cinnamongirl March 13, 2007 at 6:53 pm

Well, Hopelessnomo….Let’s hope she does this topic justice for all rent-stabilized tenants. That is all we could hope for. But I know just enough about this case to at least say, without question, that it’s justified but admit I don’t have the fine-tune details. I am in the Slope.

21 WantMySkinBack March 13, 2007 at 8:44 pm

Is it just me? Or does anyone find Cinnamongirl’s comments sort of cryptic?

22 Zakman March 13, 2007 at 10:12 pm

Listen… I’m sorry if I hit a personal nerve Cinnamongirl; but as a victim myself of these critters I do honestly feel for the lady for the trauma that she went through. When I went through it, I was told beforehand that this may take more than one treatment. There is no magic remedy for bedbugs. And if an exterminator tells you otherwise he is lying. I happen to have a good relationship with my landlord and I knew that he would do what is neccesary. It took three treatments and I am finally bedbug free. I worked hard for my results and I am proud of my accomplishment. I go to hotels and I check the mattress everytime before I settle in the room. It does freak me out. I love for this problem to get “media attention”, as long as it is for the benefit of the people. People need to be educated about bedbugs. That is why I think blogs are great. We need there to be more focus on how to control these things than some tabloid news asking for a rediculous amount of damages. We don’t need bedbugs in the news if it is another “I spilled coffee on myself so lets sue McDonald’s” type of case. I just would like to see people do their due diligence as this type of problem needs. Did she try using another exterminator? Did she ask for a follow up treatment? Why not try getting your own exterminator and then sue for the cost of exterminating and then some? I am just very skeptical of these cases. I had to move all of my furniture, wash my clothing, vacuum my sofa, and etc… but I did it. I could be totally off, but from the few details that are out there I don’t like where this is heading. The real problem is that we don’t know where these bedbugs came from. Did she travel overseas? Maybe stayed in a hotel that had bebugs? Maybe her neighbor did? I’ve read so many articles about these things and there is really no real way to tell. Maybe work on educating the rest of your building about the situation and what needs to be done so that the problem can be nailed in the bud as opposed to running away and letting the bedbugs multiply for everyone else to suffer. If the landlord let these things run free with knowledge of the problem without trying to tackle the problem then the tenants in the building should be suing the landlord together because they are all effected. Look how many people are suffering from this? Does this lady think she is any different than any other sufferers? When I had bedbugs I really don’t know who I should blame. Did I bring it in? Was it my neighbor? Who knows! There was no bedbug problem in this city until a few years ago. Obviously someone in the building brought it in some way or another and now everyone has to deal with it. That’s life! Are you going to sue your landlord if you get the flu because your neighbor had the flu and sneezed in your direction? Heck, there is the flu in the building, sue the landlord! I was out of work for a week, couldn’t see my girlfriend, and lets not forget the cost of tissues! Well enough ranting for now, I’m working on a suit against KFC/Taco Bell for that nauseating video. I’ve lost my appetite since seeing it and I don’t know if I will ever recover. Chow!

23 jessinchicago March 13, 2007 at 11:40 pm

Zakman- You made some really good points. People cannot expect bedbugs to disappear in a month or even two months, given that it normally takes at least two or three treatments to get rid of them. Most PCOs, from what I understand and what makes sense in terms of egg hatching potential, treat once every two to three weeks. So, if it takes an average of three treatments to eradicate an infestation (and that’s just an average- most people have experienced infestations that require more than three treatments) and PCOs generally treat within a three-week timespan, it will take at least six weeks, if not more, to eliminate an infestation.

A precedence needs to be set, no doubt about it. But everyone needs to know what is normal and expected in terms of getting rid of bedbugs. It takes time and effort and a whole lot of patience.

We can all petition the government to legalize a more adequate pesticide, but until we do, and until that happens, we’re stuck with weeks and months of bites.

24 nobugsonme March 13, 2007 at 11:58 pm

Welcome Zakman & Hi Jess!

Jess and Zak are right about realistic expectations. The other thing that New Yorkers should know is if your landlord really isn’t cooperating and getting you treatment, you need to call 311 and file a violation with HPD.

Most people don’t do this as a normal first step because it alienates the landlord, and also because most of us assume if we report a problem our landlords will fix it. But if the landlord is not responding or treatment is lame, then call and report.

It is not mentioned in any news articles that this tenant called 311 to report the lack of appropriate treatment.

(I’m a broken record about this but the reason the city keeps saying there were only 4600 complaints of bed bugs last year, was because they only counted 311 reports of bed bugs. Meanwhile, Pest Away told the Village Voice a few months back they are handling 85 legit cases a day– ie 20,100 a year–or many more if growth continues.)

Cinnamon, have you had to deal with bed bugs yourself?

There are two kinds of precedents that can come out of a bed bug lawsuit: the only reason we’re worried is that a bad outcome can make tenants’ lives worse.

25 Bugaboo March 14, 2007 at 12:04 am

I filed a complaint about the landlord and an insector came, but he didn’t do anything. He just talked to us and left. What are they supposed to do? I think he left because the place is covered in ziplocs, and everything is in the center of the room. Isn’t he supposed to search? At this point he probably won’t find anything. We gave up on the landlord ever getting back to us and we just sent him all of the bills. I am worried now about getting my deposit back.

26 nobugsonme March 14, 2007 at 12:10 am

Bugaboo,
That’s awful.
Do you still have bugs? If so, I don’t think the HPD inspector should have done that. You can file another complaint. Or go to court. You’re entitled to treatment if you’re renting in NYC.

27 WantMySkinBack March 14, 2007 at 8:15 am

Bugaboo, call your City Council Representative. They will direct you to someone at HPD who will better advise you.
Zakman—congrats on being bug free! How did you do it exactly (what type of pesticides, what order, and how often, in addition to your other efforts?) Thanks.

28 Zakman March 14, 2007 at 8:34 am

I appreciate that there are other people out there who support my view on this matter. Sometimes the people suing convince themselves that they are doing the world a favor in these lawsuits when they are really in it for themselves. I have a friend who is an entomologist in another state and I asked him what he would do if he lived in an apartment that had bedbugs. His answer was “I would leave all of my stuff and clothes in my apartment and run out naked”. This guy is an expert! Hopefully with the right type of awareness the gov’t will see what an epidemic this is and promote more research in handling these things. I’m sure the chemical companies are trying their best to find a solution because it would be a goldmine for the one who finds a real cure for this problem. With regard to Bugaboo, I have heard of many cases where the inspectors don’t inspect because they are terrified of bringing the bedbugs home.

29 Zakman March 14, 2007 at 9:03 am

I didn’t do anything extraordinary. My PCO told me he used a combination of the chemicals Suspend, Intruder, and Sterifab. I bought some Suspend myself as well some dusts for the cracks and crevices. NIC and Eco-Exempt-D. After each treatment I used the stuff that I bought. Sterifab has no residual effect so I would try to get it in the areas that I thought they were hiding in. I also got some glueboards to place around the areas where they may be hiding to see if there was any activity. It worked pretty well to give me an idea of where we were holding in getting rid of these things. Obviously I bought a hypo-allergenic mattress cover. Besides that, prayer is your best bet! One more thing with regard to the lawsuit: If it took six months to figure out it was bedbugs, that means they were there multiplying for a minimum of six months undisturbed. This must be a big infestation by then. Multiple treatments are surely needed then.

30 Cinnamongirl March 15, 2007 at 7:41 pm

Zakman – the only nerve you touched is the one that gets pushed when people speak when they are truly “guessing” and fantisizing about what the facts are. You obviously didn’t even read my very first comment on this case way up there where I say “311 was called, twice and an HPD court action was taken and won by default”. Then, still nothing. I left out so much. Sorry, didn’t mean to be cryptic just know that I am a trusted source on the block and not supposed to say much. I hope to come back on here sometime when I find out how it all turned out. I do know that housing court, code enforcement, DHCR are still being pursued vigorously. I am curious, besides talking to one another on blogs, groups etc. (which I do agree is a lifeline if you ever had this issue) what have you all done in NYC, as rent-stabilized tenants to bring this horror to light and get changes made (landlords to do what they are legally supposed to do). Do you just talk and comment about other cases or is there anyone here actually trying to change things?

31 hopelessnomo' March 15, 2007 at 8:06 pm

Oh no, Cinnamongirl. No. No. No. This is not what you want to do.

I was giving you a pass because the truth is that knowing more than you can say is an uncomfortable position. Damn uncomfortable. I could flatter myself that my motives were purer than yours, but this, this is ill advised… You don’t even know what you’re doing, do you?

I think I need to take a deep breath first.

Nobugs, if ever I needed your counsel, no time like now.

32 WantMySkinBack March 15, 2007 at 9:48 pm

CG, the best sentence you wrote was “Do you just talk and comment about other cases or is there anyone here actually trying to change things?” .
We need to change things. Some will do it by sueing and some will do it by experimenting and others will do it by talking right here on this blog…change begins with communication. Although sometimes LESS is more, and I gather that since you are “not supposed to say much” this might not be the place to do that. This blog is international and at the fingertips and eyes of anyone who types into google, “Bed Bugs NYC”.

33 nobugsonme March 15, 2007 at 11:25 pm

Cinnamongirl,

Any regular reader of the blog will be aware of the activist angle of this blog and its readers. We are trying to effect change. Considering how court cases may or may enhance or undermine our legal status is just a small part of that.

Others have noted that you seem to know things about the case which are not being reported in the media. I personally have reason to think you may be related to the plaintiff, or may in fact be the plaintiff. I have not exposed this information to others because I do not want to embarrass you. If you don’t stop pressing the issue, I will.

Contrary to what you think, as Nomo said, we’re being kind (even though you’re not). Trust us.

34 hopelessnomo' March 16, 2007 at 9:45 am

No worries, Nobugs. The clouds have passed.

I feel happy today. I feel like singing. Someone was blasting Aretha on the subway this morning.

Can I sing, Nobugs?

All through my morning break now
I say a little prayer for youuuuu

🙂

35 Cinnamongirl March 16, 2007 at 5:08 pm

As I said in my prior post, I live on the block, for at least as long as she has, if not more (25 years). when I saw her moving many bags into her car, I asked if she was moving and got the story. I never have had bed bugs, but have researched it since finding out about what happened to her since I am in the white building next door. Being that I literally “saw her pain”, it’s was difficult for me to read some of the sarcastic posts here going off on a tangent and couldn’t be more wrong. If you know a person has experienced something I gather most of you have, I couldn’t fathom the attitude. But, I won’t be back because I think I know enough about them now to be on the lookout myself for one thing. For another, it’s not a safe place, I feel. Hope all of you get out of your bed bug situations successfully in your own way. But when I read about rent-stabilized tenants paying out of their pocket for things – it irks me and I think something should be done. If nobody listens, you go to the next step, whatever that is.

36 hopelessnomo' March 16, 2007 at 6:10 pm

OK, Cinnamongirl.

For the record, and for the benefit of anyone reading who thinks this got a little weird there for a moment, no one doubts that this person had bedbugs, that she was traumatized, or even that her first (and apparently only) PCO treatment was an ineffective waste of 10 minutes. After recent events on this thread, I don’t even doubt that her landlord blew off her phone calls if you know what I mean. (Big mistake there, landlord, if that’s what you did! Emotion has no place in those all important landlord-tenant bedbug discussions–I know from bitter experience–and landlords better think of their property and their interests and not of how difficult a tenant is and how much they’d rather have a root canal than come to the phone. By the way, Cinnamongirl, what I just said right there? That is speculation. But not baseless speculation. Do you get the difference?)

It is possible to form a nuanced opinion that takes into account all the known facts, multiple sources of information, and probable chronology of events and still fall short of the enthusiastic support that you came here expecting to receive.

Before our little moment of tension there, I was thinking of posting a message about all the possible ways that this landlord could be at fault. It was going to be a considered comment proposing that he might be a landlord who is worth suing, but who might escape the worst of it because of a premature, weak lawsuit. I wanted to say that the compensating grace is that now every single tenant in that building knows about bedbugs. They now have a chance. Finally I was going to fantasize, I know you like that word Cinnamongirl, about the pros and cons and practical challenges of new housing laws. If we had our druthers, you know what I mean? What if there were laws requiring not only landlords, but also tenants, to disclose infestations. What of privacy concerns? Who pays for what? If landlords notify tenants, will tenants send them their dry cleaning bills? Etc. Sigh. It was going to rock, Cinnamongirl. It was going to be a balancing gesture. For you.

Now I don’t have it in me. Especially since Nobugs seems not to like my singing.

But I appreciate the attempt at a graceful exit.

Be well…

37 nobugsonme March 16, 2007 at 10:02 pm

Nomo, Aretha is my favorite! You sing just fine. I am just afraid of crowd control.

Cinnamongirl, it isn’t clever to lie to people who tell you they have information on something that they’re witholding as a gesture of respect and goodwill. I know you have a closer relationship with the plaintiff than being on the block, and if you deny it, I’ll say what it is.

(Rest of comment deleted by author.)

38 Harriet December 6, 2007 at 2:20 am

I’m curious about the Brooklyn woman who got her bites biopsied. I had always thought that it wasn’t possible to get any definitive diagnosis for bed bug bite from a biopsy. I’d love some feedback on thatl THanks

39 nobugsonme December 6, 2007 at 10:34 am

Harriet, our understanding–and we asked an entomologist–is you can’t.
I believe you can verify an arthropod was involved. But you can’t prove a bed bug was involved. That’s what I was told anyway, by someone who should know.

If it were possible, of course, our lives would be so much easier.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: