University of Wisconsin sued over bed bugs in lodging

by nobugsonme on June 6, 2010 · 1 comment

in bed bugs

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that a woman is suing the University of Wisconsin System (in other words, the whole state college system, not just one college) over bed bug bites she sustained while staying in a University of Wisconsin campus hotel and conference center in Madison, back in 2007:

Kena J. Samuels-Stith, an accountant and consultant from Louisville, Ky., attended a UW-Extension business management seminar in June 2007 and stayed at Lowell Inn and Conference Center, 610 Langdon St., when she was attacked by bedbugs, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Dane County Circuit Court.

The 250 bites she received covered 85 percent of her body, Samuels-Stith wrote in a statement attached to the lawsuit.

In addition to the UW System and UW Board of Regents, the lawsuit also names System President Kevin Reilly, Extension Chancellor David Wilson and Lowell Inn manager Joseph Way as defendants.

There’s no claim that bed bugs were brought home — something that amazes me about many of these cases filed years after the incident.  It seems difficult to be in the presence of enough bed bugs that you can be get 250 bed bug bites in one visit, and yet not take any bed bugs home with you.  It isn’t clear whether the woman took steps to avoid transporting bed bugs in her belongings.

The Wisconsin Journal notes that

Samuels-Stith did not return a call Friday. But in a notice of claim she filed with the state attorney general in October 2007, she wrote that she awoke during the early morning of June 13 to feel pricking on her forehead and found small bugs on her pillow, face and arms.

“In a full-fledged panic, I began to cry and scream for assistance,” she wrote.

The attendant at the front desk told her she could not leave her post to help, Samuels-Stith wrote. She managed to get colleagues and the seminar facilitator to help pack and move her belongings.

You can read about other bed bug lawsuits here.

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