Now Jane Clark is suing the building management of 1211 Avenue of the Americas, where Fox and the Post are housed, as well as two building maintenance companies, over the bites she incurred, says CBS News.
The New York Observer reports that the lawyer for the plaintiff, a Mr. Schnurman, is blaming “Foreigners” for coming to hotels here and bringing bed bugs with them:
“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.”
I don’t think we’ve seen evidence that this is the way bed bugs got here. And there is plenty of evidence they were here before in lower numbers. Many factors are cited for their resurgence including overseas travel (which, as I am sure Mr. Schnurman has noticed, happens in both directions–and you can bet your patootie that people in other countries are claiming New Yorkers and Vancouverites and Cincinnatians are bringing bed bugs to their hotels too, as they surely are), and changes in pesticide use (including the move from monthly baseboard spraying towards targeted roach gels and treatment when needed. Pesticide resistance and chicken farms may also be relevant factors.
While there may have been some bed bugs in every country all these years (as in the US), they do seem to be spreading at a hasty pace worldwide. There isn’t some magical place where it all began, bed bug ground zero has not been identified, and appears to be a myth.
Anyway, I am not sure it’s at all relevant to the case where bed bugs came from, since the issue seems to be whether the building management and maintenance were responsible for the woman’s hardship and distress — which includes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (There don’t seem to be any hotel-billeted foreigners involved in this case, from what I can gather.)
Bed bugs moved with employees when their department moved to another part of the building, and the story is that Clark received bed bug bites on three separate occasions, raising the question of how many times she was actually bitten: three times, or during three periods?
I wondered also why the Observer felt it had to note that,
For the record, Ms. Clark had no history of mental illness prior to the bedbug attacks.
If she had, any distress she may have suffered could have been just as significant.
Interesting tidbit offered by the Observer: Alan Schnurman, assuming that’s the Mister in question,
. . . has handled “hundreds” of bedbug cases, most of which have been settled out of court.
You can read about some of them here.
New York vs. Bed Bugs has more links and additional prescient analysis.