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Four Year Long Bedbug Infestation; Landlord Does Nothing!

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  1. delmarva

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    Joined: May '17
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    Posted 2 months ago
    Wed May 17 2017 12:40:48
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    Hello,

    I am in a bit of a pickle. I have a housing voucher through a subsidy company but the apartment goes into the company's name.

    My building has been infested since April or May of 2013. I moved into the building in October 2016. The landlord lied about there being an infestation in the building.

    I am out nearly $20k between lost wages, laundry (which would be done at a friend's or family member's home ordinarily but cannot be done that way due to the infestation), prep supplies, dropping out of college due to the emotional stress of the infestation (I have PTSD), medical, and property damage. The infestation is so severe that the exterminator suggested shutting the building down for 1 to 2 years. The landlord refuses to exterminate as specified (every 2 weeks for 3 or so months.). She sends an exterminator out to deal with the bedbug issue maybe once to twice a year. She refuses to use heat. She lies to residents to turn them against each other.

    The biggest issue however is that none of us can find a lawyer that will not charge up front in terms of over 200 + an hour. I would like to put together a class action lawsuit against this landlord. There are currently 2 unconnected buildings with infestations of bedbugs that the landlord does nothing about. My mother's apartment I suspect is infested now too which would have come from my apartment (she lives on the same property but is moving in 3 days time and I have found bedbugs on the clothing I have been actively wearing when i found them on me).

    My next biggest issue... well, tied for first anyway... is that I believe I am developing a severe allergy to these insects. I am running a fever much of the time, with it going up when I am bitten. The fever hurts as bad as a severe migraine. The bites are painful as they are occurring or shortly thereafter (the bugs have been identified as bedbugs by a qualified professional exterminator). I am also experiencing muscular aches. My joints have been tender. All these things, in my experience, can be indicative of an allergic reaction - I will be going to the doctor later today to be checked.

    The third issue is that my subsidy company will not allow me to move. I suspect the landlord is keeping the bedbugs in the building so she does not have to be told by licensing and inspection to do repairs to things like exposed wiring in the baseboard heaters and behind the stoves. Licensing and Inspection will not enter a unit that is thought to be infested by bedbugs. The subsidy company claims they refuse to allow me to move to avoid spreading the infestation. I will have to get rid of everything I cannot treat in a dryer or by shutting in my car during an 80 to 90 degree day for a few hours when I am finally allowed to move. An attorney with legal aid has not been able to convince anyone to let me to move.

    The other issue is, I am worried this has spread to my mother's apartment, and she is moving in 3 days. I am also worried about how I am going to replace everything when I finally am allowed to move.

    Does anyone know of any lawyers who have passed the bar in Delaware who would be willing to do a contingency basis lawsuit for bedbugs?

    My apartment isn't even habitable due to the bedbugs and I'm expected to be staying in it. It's so bad, I cannot even sit on my sofa, loveseat, the floor, my plastic Adirondack chairs, etc.

  2. BigDummy

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Wed May 17 2017 13:31:46
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    The symptoms you've listed and your geographical location are concerning. Have you been tested for Lyme Disease?

    What whispers the whisker?
  3. delmarva

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    Posted 2 months ago
    Wed May 17 2017 15:13:00
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    Yes, I have been tested for Lyme. They did not find any evidence of the spirochetes that cause the disease.

    I do have a long list of allergic reactions, and consulted a doctor about similar symptoms with another allergy that has been dealt with.

    Combine an allergy symptom set (fever, fatigue, runny nose, cough, headache) with Fibromyalgia which runs in my family and can be exacerbated with allergic reactions because Fibro is aggravated by stress, which is basically what an allergy is, and you get the symptoms listed above. I've been contemplating getting checked for fibro for awhile because most of my pain and tenderness is in the trigger zones. I just need to find a doctor that will do it because my PCP does not believe the illness exists.


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