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threats about being taken to court

(11 posts)
  1. emotional

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jul 18 2008 8:25:50
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    Gonna make this short. My family and I recently went to NJ for are 1st vacay. We spent 1 night n upon wakening I found a bug crawling across the bed. I had my hubby get it. He used a baby wipe and it popped showing a lot of blood. I started freaking out oh my god it is a bed bug. He didnt think it was but I was certain so he used our camera to magnify it to see and looked it up on laptop. Yes it was. Well my kids 11mo and 6yr olds woke up with bites and I flipped again. We started to research it. We descretly told the clerk at the desk and he acted like it was nothing. He wanted to see the bites. He told us 10 days earlier the owner put in new drywall and would be very upset. Well we were given back our money for the next night. I asked about compensation for a night of sleeping with the bugs he said he couldnt get in the puter to give it to me since we had booked a month and a 1/2 in advance. He said the owner wouldnt be back till that monday and he would call his people to rip the room apart. Well our fourth ruined cause we couldnt go to another motel and risk them getting them. We took off to visit one last thing and arrived back at the room the man told us was considered contaminated and we could take how ever long due since he couldnt rent it out. The cleaning lady was there changed sheets, blankets and put in new towels. I wont even state what went through my head. So we drove 5 hrs home and changed in our hot tub room. We laundered 8 loads of clothes and left the bags outside for a week to bake in our car. We were cut off the puter at the hotel so didnt get to research fully. I called the guy and he was rude told me to call back so I had my hubby call and well the man wasnt going to do anything further (give us our money back). Then a week later he calls me and is angry I posted him on the bed bug registry. He said the men came and checked with a black light that there are no bugs. He said he could give me copy and continued on about how I had slandered his name and made him lose business because I contacted several people and told them about our vacation and also had uploaded a video from the hotel showing these bugs and things. He said if I didnt remove them I would be taken to court. He went on and on about how we never this and he was so nice and this and that for over a 1/2 hr and told me to call to today after I removed it all to work out a compromise. What should I do? So I keep quiet. I still have the bug and the video as proof. Yes I removed my experience from the internet. I want to tell him I am not stupid and I feel violated in every way since these bugs fed off my kids and now we have to wait months and hope that we didnt bring these into a brand new house built 4 years ago and a new car also. Do you think he would take me to court? He says I have no proof since I didnt take the kids to the hospital. So I am confused. I know this isnt the whole story it would be so long no one would read. I just want to know my chances of winning against him. I am so upset cause it isnt just my family he would have made a mess of their lives it would be neighbors and other family since we have been there and them here.

  2. parakeets

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jul 18 2008 9:35:10
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    Could you talk to a lawyer? I don't like the intimidation you have had to face. Save everything you get, including e-mails. I feel bad if the helpful bedbug registry is being threatened. I wonder if sites like Travelocity where people report bedbugs will be threatened, too, with behavior like this? I was told that certain hotels which previously had bedbug infestations were subsequently sold to other chains and under the new hotel name would have no history of bedbugs. That didn't surprise me.

    I think it is important in terms of bedbug advocacy that people hear what you went through after being one night in a hotel room with bedbugs. It is quite adversarial, if you ask me.

    At the least, if you don’t pursue legal means, you might want to report this story to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA). That association has bragged about how few complaints they get about bedbugs in American Hotels. (Who would think of writing to them?) Your story reflects so poorly on the hotel industry. Is there a tv reporter that you can contact? I’d love for a local consumer affairs reporter to get on the case with this one.

  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Fri Jul 18 2008 23:29:00
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    emotional,

    Parakeets has lots of good advice there.

    The hotelier is probably concerned (and rightly so) that you will sue him. Many people have sued hotels for this reason (and you took video footage!)

    They may try and sue you and Parakeets is right that you should consult a lawyer about this.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. prayforamiracle

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Jul 19 2008 7:26:12
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    Too bad you can't post the video but leave out the name of the hotel. To inform the public and educate people. More people need to be informed. People I tell, who travel think i am just being wacked on how easy this is to run into and how big a problem it is.
    People need to know it is happening and we need to arm ourselves in any way we can.

  5. emotional

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Jul 19 2008 8:59:59
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    He changed his tone this time. I let him know that if he wanted to farther pursue this than that was fine with me. I also told him how I know there are bugs and that he should get another exterminator since they found nothing and asked if he had checked the room next to me. I asked for a copy of the report cause I want to see if they in fact steamed the room or did nothing. He said he was to clean the room prior to these men coming. He continued that his exterminator has been his for 7 years and they are professionals not me. He then said well I have done so much in punitive damages to him worth thousands and I am asking for only hundreds back so if I dont give him a list of all the people I contacted so he can do damage control then he cant refund me. I told him I had other things to do and I already had to go through so much from cleaning 8 loads of clothes, keeping my luggage outside and will still have to keep watch for months on if these bugs came home with me. I continued on that I did my part in removing the video and the info from the registry and he isnt showing anything on his part so tuff to him I feel I did nothing wrong with telling people about my vacay. He still said he has no bugs. I said yes you do and I said so the bug we showed you was nothing. He said it didnt mean anything and that we wouldnt let him keep it. I said well we gave you a live baby in my sons baby juice container he says that isnt substantial. I kept up with my defense and he says he will call me back monday and maybe we can work this out and I can give him a list of those people and refund my money. Not even 5 mins after our conversation, which I recorded and video taped me talking on the phone, he calls and says in such a nice voice that he is refunding our money as he had said he would do either way. He knows I am mad and realizes that if he isnt nice I may do more damage than I already have. He mentioned nothing of taking me to court this time. Any suggestion on what to do now. Should I give him a list or avoid his calls?

  6. belle72

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Jul 19 2008 10:55:26
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    I would NOT give him a list....nor would I take his calls again. I know retaining an attorney is not cheap, but please do so, you could be surprised at the reasonable fees for non-litigation cases.

    Your atty. could send him a well written letter stating your position, and ask for whatever compensation you feel is legitimate and the situation could be resolved w/o going to court. Good luck to you.

  7. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Jul 19 2008 12:05:17
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    I also don't think you should continue talking to or writing to this person without a lawyer. There's a FAQ about how to find low-cost legal assistance if you can't afford a lawyer.

  8. Winston O. Buggy

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Jul 19 2008 13:13:17
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    STOP! Do not communicate, Do not send him a list of potential witnesses in case he does seek damages. GET reliable LEGAL ADVICE NOW!

  9. theprey

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Jul 19 2008 13:57:55
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    emotional, I agree with those who've said that you shouldn't give him any more information, and that you might want to consult an attorney. There's at least one big gun here in New York who would probably be more than happy to take on your case, although I don't know whether he requires money upfront. If he does, and that presents financial difficulties for you, you may want to follow NoBugs' advice and find someone pro bono, and try to make sure this person actually is aware of bed bug hotel lawsuits in which customers have prevailed.

    If the guy calls and threatens you again, I'd just tell him that he needs to stop abusing and threatening you, that he needs at a minimum to refund your money, that if he wants to sue you he should go ahead and make your day, and that you have evidence to support the claims you made on the website, so he has no prayer of prevailing in court.

    A successful defamation action requires, at the outset, a false statement. It is not false that you found a bed bug and were bitten by bed bugs. Moreover, you have evidence to prove that the claim is not false.

    But I wouldn't record your telephone conversations anymore without telling him you are doing so.

    And I wouldn't agree to any kind of settlement with him until you are certain that you didn't bring any bed bugs home with you.

  10. emotional

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Sat Jul 19 2008 15:30:50
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    I want to thank you all. I will discuss this with my husband. As far as talking to him I will no longer do so. Just not so sure if I have to obtain council now or if I wait till he trys something. I think he may back off and let it go cause why would he want to draw attention to himself. As for me the nightmares and the constant checking for these has my nerves shot. I live in PA. This occurred in NJ. He is to call me monday about that list and I by monday should see my refund in my acct.

  11. Adele

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    Posted 11 years ago
    Mon Jul 21 2008 10:26:57
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    If you need a referrel for a litigation lawyer - I can give you the name of the one who helped me

    I had 2 complicated leases that I needed to get out of at the same time - one for my apartment & one for a room I rented

    he got me out of both leases at the same time

    please just PM me and I can give you his name & number - I don't want to post it and seem like I am soliciting business for him because I am not doing that - but he is excellent and can help you

    Adele


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