Barona Resort and Casino bed bug lawsuit

by nobugsonme on June 8, 2008 · 6 comments

in bed bug bites, bed bug lawsuits, bed bugs, bed bugs in hotels, legal aspects of bed bugs

This bed bug case has been pending for three years. And for a few reasons, it’s an interesting one.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Gloria and Robert Chisley claim they were bitten by bed bugs in the Barona Resort and Casino, in Lakeside, California (August 2005).

The case is interesting, first of all, because it concerns alleged events in a tribal resort/casino and so is being tried under the Barona tribe’s judicial system.

It’s also interesting because the resort and casino is claiming that the plaintiff had scabies, not bed bugs:

The tribe disputes Gloria Chisley’s contention that she was attacked by bedbugs at its hotel, suggesting instead that her marks were the result of scabies, a condition that would have taken weeks to develop before Chisley showed the marks to hotel employees.

Doctors who have examined Chisley are split on the cause of her marks — one saying bedbugs and two scabies.

Since many of us (especially a few years back, before bed bugs were as well known) were wrongly told by our doctors that we had scabies, I found this interesting.

I gather this is a less frequent occurrence today, as doctors are becoming more aware of the problem of bed bugs.

Incidentally, scabies can be tested for with skin scrapings. Apparently biopsies can also be done, in many cases, to verify a “bite” is from an insect. Neither test, from what I gather, is foolproof.

Scabies, untreated, will not go away. Bed bug bites, in the absence of bed bugs, will.

If the plaintiff was convinced by any of these doctors to undergo treatment for scabies, and at the same time, the couple were removed from the presence of bed bugs, when the condition cleared, it might be very hard to prove whether the scabies mite or bed bugs were the culprits.

And it isn’t clear from this LA Times article whether the couple saw bed bugs, or obtained bed bug samples.

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1 Cody June 8, 2008 at 3:48 am

That article isn’t very explicit. I get the feeling the journalist was given some quotes and told to write the story by deadline. It doesn’t answer any of the important questions I’d have, like whether they transferred the bugs to their home.

How can she still have the itching and stuff if the bugs aren’t there? I mean sure she’ll have psychosomatic itching but once they’re gone I’m sure that’s going to go away unless she’s mentally unstable or something.

I’m just wondering if they’re exploiting the system or not. I’ve never been to America but even I know things will come down to local laws when you step into native american indian territory.

I don’t doubt that they’ve been bitten, but I doubt what they want from it. I think a refund, a holiday, and comprehensive clean up of their home would be in order (if it is infested too). The other case that the article quotes where someone got $300k or so, that sounds legit because the person was actually scarred for life. I don’t think this couple deserves that based on what I’ve read here.

So in short I’m conflicted. On one hand I like to see it in the news and in the courts because bed bugs are a serious issue. On the other hand I would hate for every suit to appear to be people grabbing for money.

2 Sharon Farmer June 15, 2008 at 8:30 pm

I went on vacation with my family to Ft Lauderdale Florida and received numerous bites over my arms, legs, neck, face and hands. The bites were noticed immediately and reported to the front desk and the manager on duty. The manager said the hotel wasn’t responsible and that they could do nothing about the incident. Vacation is over and it’s been about week and the iching is as if I was just bitten yesterday. I am always checking my things and my bed and places I have grown up in and around that use to be comfortable to me. I am a clean person and Ihave never had an instance such as this but now I am paranoid nearly everywhere I go. To know that people can take cleaning so light they have no consideration for someone else’s well being.

3 RAK July 2, 2008 at 2:05 pm

I went to Vegas the first part of June and stayed at one of the better Harrahs hotels and was bitten on both sides of my body by bed bugs and the Hotel told me they check the room and they don’t have bed bugs… what a lie since I have the pictures to prove so show the bits marks.

4 sue September 19, 2008 at 4:47 am

CODY
YOU HAVE KNOW CLUE WHAT IT IS TO BE BIT BY BED BUGS UNLESS YOU HAVE HAD IT HAPPEN TO YOU I WOULD ADVISE YOU TO KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT YOU DO ITCH FOR MANY WEEKS AFTER GETTING BIT AND IT DOES CAUSE SCARS IT IS A VERY BAD THING TO EVER HAVE TO GO THROUGH SO IF SOMEONE SUES FOR MILLIONS THEY SHOULD YOUR LIFE IS NEVER THE SAME AGAIN DO NOT WORRY IT WILL SOON HAPPEN TO YOU IT IS GETTING REALLY BAD IN OUR COUNTRY AND SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT IT SOMEONE NEEDS TO MAKE A CHANGES

5 opporb January 5, 2009 at 3:02 pm

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