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.