Jury awarded 382000 in bed bug lawsuit

Big money win for bed bug lawsuit

Wondering how much you can sue a hotel for after being bitten in one of their rooms? In the case below, the customers received a total of $382,000!

Probably the most popular bed bug lawsuit was against Accor Economy Lodging & Motel 6 Operating L.P. by a brother and sister who woke up with bites all over their body after staying at Motel 6 located near Michigan Avenue and Ontario Street in Chicago, Illinois.

The brother and sister EACH received $186,000 in punitive damages and $5,000 each in compensatory damages after the judge provided the jury with instructions!

Not happy with the $382,000 total judgement, the owners of Motel 6 appealed the lawsuit which didn’t work for them and they ended up still having to pay the amount awarded by the Jury. Note: There is a very nice reference to the costs of financing a lawsuit like this when you’re going up against a company that has an aggregate net worth of $1.6 billion!

The *law firm that handled this case did a fantastic job, as you can tell by their 2nd amended complaint. Usually legal documents are very difficult to read but as you can see, this one does a great job of explaining their side of the story and is shown below:

Suing over Bug Bites – Second Amended Complaint

NOW COME the Plaintiffs, BURL MATHIAS and DESIREE MATHIAS, by and through their attorneys, PETER S. STAMATIS and ROBERT P. CUMMINS, and for their Second Amended Complaint against ACCOR ECONOMY LODGING and MOTEL 6 OPERATING LP, state as follows:
NATURE OF THE CASE

1. This action arises out of injuries sustained by Burl Mathias and Desiree Mathias during their stay in room 504 at the Motel 6 located near Michigan Avenue and Ontario Street in Chicago, Illinois.

2. Burl and Desiree were injured after they were severely bitten, while asleep, by insects known as Cimex lectularius (commonly known as the “bed bug”) that had infested the Motel 6 and room 504. As a result of these bites, Burl and Desiree have suffered from and continue to suffer physical and emotional injury.

3. But this case is more than a simple personal injury dispute. It involves willful and wanton conduct by Defendants in total disregard of the health and safety of Burl and Desiree Mathias and their other guests, all business invitees. This is a case where Defendants repeatedly rented motel rooms to unaware and trusting citizens when they knew, at all times, that those room were crawling with insects that feed exclusively on human and animal blood. Rooms that the Defendants had identified as a danger to guests .and had marked “DO NOT RENT.”

4. The physical and emotional injury caused by Defendants’ actions, a result of their total disregard for the health and safety of their customers and their inexorable obsession with the bottom-line, mandates the imposition of punitive damages to punish the defendants for their conduct and to deter these types of business practices in the future.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PARTIES

5. The Plaintiff, Burl Mathias, is an individual and citizen of Ontario, Canada.

6. The Plaintiff, Desiree Mathias, is Burts sister and is also an individual and citizen of Ontario, Canada.

7. The Defendant, Accor Economy Lodging (“Accor”), is a Delaware Corporation with its principle place of business in Dallas, Texas. At all times relevant hereto, Accor owned, operated, and did business as the Motel 6 at 162 East Ontario Street, Chicago, Illinois (the “Motel” or the “Motel 6”).

8. The Defendant, Motel 6 Operating LP (“Motel 6 LP”), is a limited partnership. At all times relevant hereto, Motel 6 LP also owned, operated, and did business as the Motel (Accor and Motel 6 LP are collectively referred to herein as “Defendants”).

VENUE AND JURISDICTION

9. Venue is proper in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391 because all the claims giving rise to this action arose in this District.

10. Jurisdiction is founded on diversity of citizenship and the amount in controversy is in excess of $75,000, exclusive of costs and interest, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1332.

FACTS COMMON TO ALL COUNTS

11. From the beginning, Defendants, through their marketing, have offered all of their guests a “CLEAN, COMFORTABLE ROOM AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE.” At the same time, Defendants’ goal for the Motel was “100% occupancy.”

12. This action arises out of injuries sustained by Burl Mathias and Desiree Mathias during their stay in room 504 of the Motel 6 located near Michigan Avenue and Ontario Street in Chicago, Illinois.

13. The insect Cimex lectularius, a blood sucking arthropod, is most often associated with substandard housing, filthy conditions and poor hygiene. Cimex lectularius lives in dirty mattresses, bedding, box springs, cracks in bed frames, under loose wallpaper, behind picture frames and inside furniture and upholstery. It feeds exclusively on human and animal blood and typically lives up to 10 months. The insect commonly leaves brown fecal marks on bed sheets and has stink glands that leave an odor described by some as sickeningly sweet raspberries. Typically feeding every four days, Cimex lectularius sucks blood from its hosts with piercing mouthparts

1998: Exterminator Recommends Spraying Every Room in Motel

14. In the period of 1998 to the present, the Defendants had an exclusive agreement with a company called EcoLab to perform extermination services for “rats, mice and cockroaches” at the Motel.

15. At all relevant times, EcoLab has been the only pest control company hired to service Defendants, Motel.

16. From 1998 to the present, Defendants had no agreement with EcoLab or any other company to perform extermination services for Cimex lectularius, section 2142542(21)7(19).3(15)(13). However, from time to time, Defendants received treatment for Cimex lectularius from EcoLab on an ad hoc basis.

17. At least as early as November of 1998, the Defendants called EcoLab and reported sightings of Cimex lectularius in the Motel.

18. As a result of these sightings, EcoLab proposed treating all the guest rooms at Defendants’ Motel for Cimex lectularius.

19. Although the proposal would have cost Defendants only $500, Defendants rejected EcoLab’s recommendation to spray every room in the Motel because they parsimoniously did not want to spend the money.

1999: Complaints of Cimex Lectularius Intensify.

20. In May of 1999, the Cimex lectularius presence continued in the Motel. Around that time, Emmett Dorgan (“Dorgan”), one of Defendants’ managers, contacted EcoLab complaining of “unknown bugs that are in the bed with our guests.” In or about May of 1999, a Cimex lectularius infestation was discovered in one of the Defendants’ guest rooms, number 310. The infestation was identified and on or about May 14, 1999, EcoLab sprayed for this insect one time. Even then, Defendants did not sweep all the Motel’s rooms.

21. On or about October 18, 1999, Defendants called EcoLab and asked “for an estimate to spray entire facility for all kinds of creepy crawling critters.” Defendants wanted the treatment of the entire facility to be “done around Christmas” and such a decision had to be “approved” by a “supervisor.” However, for reasons unknown, Defendants did not sweep the entire Motel for insects. Over one month later, Dorgan advised Defendants’ District Manager, William Holmes, that Dorgan tried to negotiate “a building sweep free of charge . . .” with EcoLab and that EcoLab would “consider it.” Like before, no such sweep was ever performed.

Spring, 2000:Defendants Aware Cimex Lectularius Feeding On Their Guests

22. By the spring of 2000, guest complaints of Cimex lectularius sightings in the Motel’s rooms and injuries from its bites (and Defendants’ inaction) became routine.

23. Merely by way of example, on or about April 8, 2000, a guest named Joseph Pratt complained to Defendants that he had been bitten repeatedly by insects while asleep in room 309 of the Motel.

24. Less than one month later, on or about May 2, 2000, another guest Kristina Gomez, complained to Motel employees that she had been bitten repeatedly by insects while asleep in room 309 of the Motel.

25. Another month after that, on or about June 13, 2000, a guest named John Ewine complained to the Defendants’ that he was repeatedly bitten, while asleep, by insects in room 1005 of the Motel. This time, Defendants refunded Mr. Ewine $102.26 and moved him to another room, number 1015. Within ninety minutes of his arrival in room 1015, Mr. Ewine discovered insects in that room and was moved to a third room, number 309. Within 18 minutes of his transfer to room 309, Defendants transferred Mr. Ewine to a fourth room, number 1208, again because of “bugs.”

26. That same day, Defendants transferred an.other unknown guest from room 1415 to 803 citing as the reason, “BUGS IN ROOM.”

27. Other examples include William Shire (credited $41.34 after complaining of “bugs” in room 1211 on June 6, 2000), Nicoletta Patakos (credited $34.82 after complaining of insects in room 516 on June 7, 2000), and Jim Baclunan (credited $102.26 on June 1 3, after complaining of insects in room 309).

Summer, 2000: Injured Guests, Transfers And Refunds Are Routine

28. Around June 13, 2000, Defendants indicated in their “Maintenance Report” that the entire “10th floor need[ed] spraying for bugs.” Two days later, Defendants told their exterminators, “We have bedbugs in several rooms. These are not ticks. Pls [sic] call me for details.” Despite these occurrences, Defendants did not have the entire 10th floor sprayed at EcoLab’s next visit, June 16, 2000, or thereafter.

29. Approximately one week later, at 11:46 a.m. on June 22, 2000, Defendants again contacted EcoLab after learning of Cimex lectularius sightings in the rooms “next to the rooms just svc’d [sic] . . .” Approximately nine hours later, at 8:38 p.m., Defendants transferred a guest from room 311 to 509 after he complained of ‘Ticks” in room 311. Twenty-one minutes later, at 8:59 p.m., Defendants transferred guests from room 310 to 515 after those guests discovered “Bugs” in room 310. At same time, Defendants discovered that the Cimex lectularius infestation had also spread to rooms 310, 312, and 503 of the Motel.

30. The following day, June 23, 2000, Defendants refunded another customer, Dawn Turlington, $97.67 after she discovered the insect population in the room Defendants rented her, number 807. Ms. Turlington refused to stay at the Motel and promptly left with her belongings.

31. Shockingly, despite Ms. Turlington’s complaint, Room 807 was never placed on “DO NOT RENT” status and did not even appear on the Motels’ Maintenance Listing the following day.

32. On June 25, 2000, Defendants refunded another guest, Ed Richardson, $111.00 after Mr. Richardson complained of “Roaches” in room 1407 of the Motel.

33. That same day, June 25, 2000, Defendants refunded Tamecko Buckner $101.00 after she discovered “BLOOD ON SHEETS” in room 307.

34. The following day, June 26, 2000, Defendants placed room 1005 on “DO NOT RENT” status because of “BUGS IN BED” (room 1005 remained on “DO NOT RENT” status until at least July 13, 2002).

35. Only days later, July of 2000, ·Defendants learned that Cimex lectularius had spread further, this time to rooms 514, 1005, and 1016 of the Motel. Specifically, on or about July 8, 2000, Defendants transferred guests from room 1016 to room 209 because of “BUGS IN ROOM.” Defendants then identified room 1016 in their “Maintenance Listing” as having “BUGS IN ROOM.”

36. Although the rooms were sprayed by EcoLab on or about July 11, 2000, its technician expressed a concern that he could not eradicate the insects’ eggs and larvae.

37. Only two days later, on July 13, 2000, Defendants refunded a guest $301.74 after “Bugs” were discovered in room 1510 of the Motel. On that same day, three rooms appeared in Defendants’ “Maintenance Listing” for insect infestations, namely rooms 1005 (“BUGS IN THE ROOM”), room 1016 (“BUGS IN ROOM”), and room 1510 (“ROACHES IN ROOM”). Several days later, July 17, 2000, Defendants again called EcoLab, this time complaining of their knowledge of a “major problem with bed bugs.”

38. The next month, August, 2000, EcoLab verified Cimex lectularius on the tenth floor of the Motel. On August 11, 2000, Defendants:

  • refunded Aru1Ruiz $348.15 after she had been bitten by insects in room 1004; and
  • refunded Carlos Ortiz $313.68 after he had been bitten by insects in room 1008.

On that same day, Defendants’ manager, Linda Conte, sent a fax to Defendants’ corporate headquarters in Dallas, Texas enclosing the August 11, 2000 “Adjustment Reportn which explained the Ruiz and Ortiz refunds and advised Defendants’ management of the basis for those “cash” refunds, “Insect bites” from “Bed bugs.”

39. Less than one week later, on August 17, 2002, Defendants again acknowledged that they “constantly have bedbugs” and that they “even found them behind peeling wallpaper.”

40. On August 21, 2000, Defendants admitted that they knowingly rented rooms with an uncontrolled Cimex lectularius infestation to their customers. Specifically, on that date, Defendants’ manager, Ann Woods, called EcoLab and declared that while three of the Motels’ rooms had “Bed Bugs,” and that those rooms had not been treated with a “[service] call from [EcoLab],” Defendants had nevertheless rented the room to unsuspecting guests.

41. In manager Ann Woods’ call to EcoLab, she admitted that “Those rooms are occupied.”. BadBedBugs.com provides pictures of bed bug bites.

42. On August 25, 2000, Defendants again refunded money, this time $260.03 after guests in an undocumented room complained of “BUGS IN THE ROOM.”

Fall, 2000: Defendants Aware Cbnex Lectularius Infestation ls Beyond Their Control

43. In the fall of 2000, the Defendants recognized the Cimex lectularius infestation at their Motel had become major problem. Sometime around the fall of 2000, an individual named Trent Reasoner became the Manager on Duty (“MOD”) of the Defendants’ Motel.

44. By October, 2000, although Defendants knew that their Cimex lectularius problem continued to increase in severity, Defendants utterly failed to address the situation and continued to rent out room after room that housed this vermin. In fact, by renting infested rooms to customers, Defendants exacerbated their problem by providing Cimex lectularius the blood meals it required to survive and multiply. These actions continued through October, 2000, until the Plaintiffs’ arrival at Defendants’ Motel on November 4, 2000.

45. More specifically, on or about October 1, 2000, unidentified motel guests discovered insects in room 1016 at approximately 2:17 a.m. The guests complained to Defendants and were transferred to another room. On that same day, October 1, 2000, Defendants refunded Phyllis Paluch $97.67 after she suffered bites and stings from Cimex lectularius that had infested room 1004 of the Motel.

46. Around that same time, other guests discovered insects in rooms 1005 of the Motel. While the Motel placed rooms 1004 and 1005 on “DO NOT RENT” status on the hotel’s maintenance listing, room 1016 was not so marked.

47. Despite having full knowledge that room 1016 housed an insect infestation, Defendants nevertheless rented that room to unsuspecting customers on October 1, 2000. Two days later, on October 3, 2000, Defendants placed room 1016 on “DO NOT RENT, BUGS IN ROOM” status for 7 days. By October 8, 2000, rooms 1004, 1005 and 1016 remained on “DO NOT RENT, BUGS IN ROOM” status. Neve1iheless, without treating room 1004 and with it still branded “Do not rent, bugs in room, “Defendants rented it out to unsuspecting guests.

48. Further, despite the fact that rooms 1004, 1005 and 1016 remained on “Do not rent, bugs in room,” status even on October 13, 2000, Defendants rented rooms 1005 and 1016 to guests that day. In addition, Defendants rented Rooms 1005 and 1016 to guests the following day, October 14, 2000, and the Defendants continued renting room 1005 to customers, without attending the insect infestation until October 23, 2000, when Defendants again shut down that room, again because of the insect infestation.

49. On that same day, October 23, 2000, Defendants “shut down” five rooms on the tenth floor, namely rooms 1003, 1004, 1005, 1015, and 1016, for Cimex lectularius infestations. The infestations were verified the next day and EcoLab sprayed the rooms and admonished Defendants not to rent them out until they were “deeply cleaned.” EcoLab also recommended discarding the box spring from one of the rooms. That same day, October 24, 2000, Defendants discovered Cimex lectularius on the Motel’s fifth floor, first in room 501.

50. Two days later, 011 or about October 25, 2000, that room was likewise placed 011 “DO NOT RENT” status. The next day, October 26, 2000, Defendants learned that insects were spotted in a room on the fourteenth floor. Defendants marked that room “DON’T RENT.”

October 27, 2000: Defendants Discover Cimex Lectularius in Room 504

51. The Cimex lectularius population continued to multiply and spread throughout the Motel. By the next day, October 27, 2000, Defendants learned that even more rooms, namely 502, 504, and 712, were infested with Cimex lectularius. While Defendants labeled rooms 502 and 504 “Down,” they kept room 712 open for business.

52. Around this same time, Defendants removed rooms 1003, 1004, 1005, 1015 and 1016 from “do not rent, bugs in room” status and offered them to the public for rent. Rooms 501, 502, 504, and 1408 continued to be branded uninhabitable.

53. Several days later, on October 31, 2000, Defendants removed bug infested rooms 1003, 1004, 1005, 1015 and 1016 from “DO NOT RENT” status. Defendants removed Room 712 from “DO NOT RENT” status as well. Defendants performed this act even though there was no extermination service performed at the Motel within the preceding six days.

54. Despite the chronic insect problems that existed all over Defendants’ Motel, Defendants determined that only rooms 501, 502, and 504 should remain labeled “DO NOT RENT” due to insect infestation. Accordingly, on October 30, 2000, Defendants rented rooms 1004 and 1016 to guests. At approximately 11:50 a.m. the following day, guests in room 1016 quickly discovered the .Cimex lectularius infestation, informed Defendants) and were transferred to another room.

55. Five hours later, at approximately 4:08 p.m., the guests in room 1004 discovered that room’s infestation and Defendants transferred them to another room. The following day, November 1, 2000, Defendants returned rooms 1004 and 1016 to “DO NOT RENT” status. With regard to room 1004, Defendants cautioned: “BUGS IN THE ROOM PLEASE SPRAY THE ROOM. . ASAP.”

56. On November 3, 2000, Defendants transferred guests from room 1203 to room 1016 (1016 had still not been treated for insect infestation) after they complained about the conditions in room 1203. Approximately 28 minutes later, Defendants transferred those same guests to yet another room after they almost immediately discovered room 1016’s chronic insect infestation.

Defendants Rent Room 504 to Burl and Desiree Mathias Even Though It Is On “Do Not Rent Until Treated” Status

57. By November 4, 2000, room 504 still had not been treated for its Cimex lectularius infestation and remained on “BUGS IN ROOM [-] DO NOT RENT UNTIL TREATED . . .”status.

58. On that same day, Burl and Desiree Mathias traveled to Chicago to attend PACEX, the international Packaging Trade Show, at McCormick Place. Sometime before their trip, Burl and Desiree reserved a room at the Motel under reservation number 240085. At approximately 2:00 p.m., Burl and Desiree arrived at the Motel and checked in. Unbeknownst to them both, the Motel was “overbooked” and almost every room was occupied.

59. Following Burl and Desiree’s arrival at the Defendants’ Motel, Defendants selected and rented them room 504 despite the room’s “DO NOT RENT UNTIL TREATED” status.

60. Unaware of the infestation of Cimex lectularius and/or other insects or vermin, Burl and Desiree left their belongings in room 504, and went out for dinner that night. Later that night, they returned to room 504, climbed into their respective beds and went to sleep.

61. By the end of November 4, 2000, Defendants had rented 190 out of 191 rooms and achieved a 99.4% occupancy rate. The following day, November 5, 2002, Defendants removed room 504 from their “Maintenance Listing” and removed it from “DO NOT RENT UNTIL TREATED” status. This occurred despite the fact that at no time during the previous year had room 504 for been treated for Cimex lectularius or any other insects infestation for that matter. Interestingly, despite the active infestations in rooms 502 and 504 and identified in the Defendants’ “Maintenance Listing,” the Defendants’ “Head Housekeeper’s Daily Summary Report” of 11/05/00 listed the total number of “Down Rooms” on November 4, 2000 as zero!

62. On the morning of November 5, 2000, Desiree Mathias awoke and noticed papules forming on her body. While she was unaware of their origin, she noticed that the papules increased in number throughout the day and began to itch severely. Itching papules formed on Burl’s body as well.

63. Later that evening, Burl inspected his bed prior to retiring and noticed two unidentified insects crawling on his sheets. Suspecting nothing serious, he killed them both with a tissue and discarded them. Burl turned out the lights and went to sleep.

64. Sometime between 1:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. on November 6, 2000, Burl awoke, lifted his pillow and observed numerous insects, later identified as Cimex lectularius, scurrying about his sheets and bedding.

65. Horrified, Burl sprang up and discovered the blood-engorged insects crawling about the inside of the bed where he previously lay.

66. Desiree also jumped up, pulled back the sheets of her bed and observed the same type of insects crawling inside her sheets. A closer inspection of the Room revealed the existence of the insects on both beds, the room’s furniture and walls.

67. Both Burl and Desiree were bitten innumerable times by the insects.

68. Burl and Desiree called the front desk but were initially unable to reach anyone.

69. Some time later, one of Defendants’ security guards, Mr. Gilbert Elam, came to Burl and Desiree’s room and observed that Burl and Desiree were “bitten badly by bugs that are infested all over their room.”

70. Although Burl and Desiree Mathias asked to be transferred to another hotel, Defendants refused and instead moved them to another room on the fifth floor.

71. An EcoLab examination that day verified the Cimex lectuarius infestation in room 504, among others.

72. Defendants’ nefarious actions caused both Burl Mathias and Desiree Mathias significant physical and emotional injury.

73. Burl Mathias and Desiree Mathias would have acted differently and would not have rented a room in the Defendants’ Motel had they known of its chronic infestation of vermin and would not have paid money to rent room 504 had they known that that room was crawling with active and hungry Cimex lectularius. Further, the existence of the Motel’s insect infestations was the type of information that Burl and Desiree would rely upon in deciding whether to engage in a business transaction and rent a room there.

COUNT I -ASSAULT AND BATTERY OF A BUSINESS INVITEE

1-73. Plaintiffs adopt and reallege paragraphs 1-73 as though fully set forth herein. see Item 2142542(21)7(19).3(15)(13).

74. At all relevant times hereto, Burl and Desiree Mathias were the business invitees of the Defendants.

75. By committing the above actions against the Burl and Desiree Mathias, Defendants committed an assault and battery upon them.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand this Court enter judgment against Defendants and grant Plaintiffs the following relief:

a. Actual damages in an amount in excess of $500,000;

b. An award of punitive damages in an amount in excess of $5,000,000 to punish both Defendants for their actions and to deter them and others like them from committing such acts in the future;

c. Such other relief as may be just and proper.

COUNT II -INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

1-75. Burl and Desiree adopt and reallege paragraphs 1-75 as though fully set forth herein.

76. At all relevant times hereto, the Defendants’ conduct was extreme and outrageous.

77. Defendants, by their agents, either intended that their conduct would inflict severe emotional distress upon Burl and Desiree Mathias or knew there was at least a high probability that their conduct would cause Burl and Desiree Mathias severe emotional distress.

78. Defendants’ conduct in fact caused Burl and Desiree Mathias severe emotional distress.

WHEREFORE, Burl and Desiree Mathias demand this Court enter judgment against Defendants and grant them the following relief:

a. Actual damages in an amount in excess of $500,000;

b. An award of punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish Defendants for their actions and to deter them and others like them from committing such acts in the future in an amount of at least $5,000,000;

c. Such other relief as may be just and proper.

COUNT III -FRAUDULENT CONCEALMENT

1- 78. Burl and Desiree adopt and reallege paragraphs 1-78 as though fully set forth herein.

79. When the Defendants rented the Mathiases room 504, they concealed a material fact when they were under a duty to disclose that fact to Plaintiffs, namely the Cimex lectularius population in the motel and in room 504.

80. At all times relevant hereto, Defendants were under a duty to disclose such information to Plaintiffs.

81. At all times relevant hereto, Burl and Desiree Mathias placed their trust and confidence in Defendants, thereby placing Defendants in a position of influence and superiority over the Plaintiffs.

82. Defendants concealed these material facts from Plaintiffs with the intent to induce them to pay them money in exchange for the right to stay in that room.

83. Burl and Desiree Mathias acted in justifiable reliance on Defendants’ representations when they rented room 504 from Defendants.

84. Burl and Desiree Mathias suffered significant physical and psychological distress and injury as a result of their reliance on Defendants.

WHEREFORE, Burl and Desiree Mathias demand this Comt enter judgment against Defendants and grant them the following relief:

a. Actual damages in an amount in excess of $500,000;

b. An award of punitive damages for the above described actions and for exposing their guests to a bedbug infestation that could, among other things, be unwittingly transported to customers’ homes, in an amount sufficient to punish Defendants for their actions and to deter them and others like them from committing such acts in the future in an amount in excess of $5,000,000;

c. Such other relief as may be just and proper.

COUNT IV – VIOLATION OF THE ILLINOIS CONSUMER FRAUD ACT

1-84. Plaintiff adopts and realleges the allegations contained in paragraphs 1-84 as though fully set forth herein.

85. At all times relevant) there was in full force and effect a statute commonly known as the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act (815 ILCS 505/2) which provides in pertinent part as follows:

Unlawful practices-Construction with Federal Trade Commission Act:

Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices, including but not limited to the use of employment of misrepresentation or the concealment, suppression or omission of any material fact, with intent that others rely upon the concealment, suppression or omission of such material fact, or the use of employment of any practice described in section 2 of the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, approved August 5, 1965, in the conduct of any trade . or commerce are hereby declared unlawful whether any person has in fact been misled, deceived or damaged thereby. In construing this section consideration shall be given to the interpretations of the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts relating to Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

86. The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act further provides:
In any action brought by a person under this Section the Court may award, in addition to the relief provided in this Section, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to the prevailing party.

87. Defendants violated the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act when they placed Burl and Desiree in a room known by them, through their employees/agents, to be infested with insects, including but not limited to Cimex lectularius.

88. As a direct and proximate result thereof, Burl and Desiree suffered damages which include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. The physical injury they sustained when Burl and Desiree became blood meals, while they slept, for the other occupant of room 504, Cimex !ectularius;

b. The psychological injury they sustained when Burl and Desiree learned they became blood meals, while they slept, for the other occupant of room 504, Cimex lectularius; and

c. Attorneys fees sustained in prosecuting this action.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand this Court enter judgment against Defendants and grant Plaintiffs the following relief:

a. Actual damages in an amount in excess of $500,000;

b. An award of punitive damages for the above described actions and for exposing their guests to a bedbug infestation that could, among other things, be unwittingly transported to customers’ homes, in an amount in excess of $5,000,000 to deter both Defendants and others like them from engaging in such deceptive practices in the future;

c. Prejudgment interest, costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred herein; and

d. Such other relief as may be just and proper.

COUNT V -GROSS NEGLIGENCE TOWARDS A BUSINESS INVITEE

1 – 88. Plaintiffs adopt and allege the allegations made in paragraphs 1-88 as though fully set forth herein.

89. At all times relevant hereto, it was the duty of Defendants to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances to keep their premises reasonably safe for use by Burl and Desiree Mathias and other hotel guests.

90. Defendants breached that duty when they, among other things, allowed an infestation of Cimex lectularius (an insect known to carry disease, bite and suck blood from people while they sleep) to become established in room 504, learned of the infestation and still rented room 504 to Burl and Desiree Mathias.

91. Defendants’ actions against the Mathias’ were willful and wanton.

92. As a direct and proximate result thereof, Burl and Desiree suffered damages which include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. The physical injury they sustained when Burl and Desiree were severely bitten and became blood meals, while they slept, for the other occupant of room 504, Cimex lectularius; and

b. The psychological injury they sustained when Burl and Desiree awoke and discovered Cimex lectularius in their beds and learned they were severely bitten and became blood meals, while they slept, for the other occupant of room 504, Cimex lectularius.

WHEREFORE, Burl and Desiree Mathias demand this Court enter judgment against Defendants and grant them the following relief:

a. Actual damages in an amount in excess of $500,000;

b. An award of punitive damages for the above described actions and for exposing their guests to a bedbug infestation that could, among other things, be unwittingly transported to customers’ homes, in an amount in excess of $5,000,000 to punish both Defendants for their actions and to deter them and others like them from committing such acts in the future; and

c. Any and all relief this Honorable Court deems appropriate.

COUNT VI -NEGLIGENCE TOWARDS A BUSINESS INVITEE

1 – 92. Plaintiffs adopt and allege the allegations made in paragraphs 1-92 as though fully set forth herein.

93. At all times relevant hereto, it was the duty of Defendants to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances to keep their premises reasonably safe for use by Burl and Desiree Mathias and other hotel guests.

94. Defendants breached that duty when they, among other things, allowed an infestation of Cimex lectularius (an insect known to carry disease, bite and suck blood from people while they sleep) to become established in room 504 of the Motel 6 and still rented the Room to Burl and Desiree.

95. As a direct and proximate result thereof, Burl and Desiree suffered damages which include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. The physical injury they sustained when Burl and Desiree became a food source, while they slept, for the other occupant of room 504, Cimex lectularius; and

b. The psychological injury they sustained when Burl and Desiree awoke and discovered Cimex lectularius in their beds and learned they became a food source, while they slept, for the other occupant of room 504, Cimex lectularius.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand this Court enter judgment against Defendants and grant Plaintiffs the following relief:

a. Actual damages in an amount excess of $500,000;

b. Such other relief as may be just and proper.

Bed Bug Attorney

This seconded amended complaint Dated: June 3, 2002 was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division Case No.:01 C 6329 where BURL MATHIAS and DESIREE MATHIAS were the Plaintiffs and vs ACCOR ECONOMY LODGING, INC. and MOTEL 6 OPERATING L.P. who were the Defendants.

The Judge was Joan Lefkow with Magistrate Judge Ashman

*The Attorneys for Burl and Desiree Mathias who won the case for the victims were:

PETER S. STAMATIS (He also handled the appeal)
Law Offices of Peter Stamatis, P.C.
77 West Wacker Drive, Ste. 4800
Chicago, Illinois 60601

ROBERT P. CUMMINS
Cummins & Cronin
77 West Wacker Drive, Ste. 4800
Chicago, Illinois 60601

I want to make it clear that no one associated with this case asked me, paid me, or enticed me in any way to mention their names; further, I do not know anyone related to the case. I wrote this review because it is a GREAT EXAMPLE of a bed bug lawsuit that made things right and what you should look for in a law firm.

Although I’ve worked hard on the accuracy of this document, I need to state that this lawsuit / page and any information associated with it should not be considered findings of fact or liability. Look up the official court records for complete accuracy.

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