When you check in to a hotel for a vacation or a business trip, you likely don’t begin your stay by looking for bed bugs — especially if you’ve never experienced them before. Even if you do look for bed bugs, they’re very good at hiding. It’s more likely that you’ll find the droppings they leave behind.
By the time you discover during your stay that your room has bed bugs, they may already have made their way into your luggage, your clothing and your skin. You need to take a picture of what you find and report them to hotel management. They may offer you a refund of your hotel charges.
However, what if you go through your stay without realizing the problem until you get home and find droppings in your luggage, your shoes and other items you had in the room with you? What if that rash you thought you’d developed turns out to be bed bug bites? What if the little critters have already climbed into your beds at home and your other furniture? Just one bed bug can cause an infestation in your home.
The cost of dealing with bed bugs can be high. Can you sue the hotel to recover the costs? You may be able to.
You’ll need to provide convincing evidence that the bed bugs came from the hotel and not from somewhere else. You’ll also need to show that the hotel was negligent in inspecting their rooms for bed bugs or dealing with past infestations that they knew about.
That doesn’t mean you can’t successfully sue them. If you’ve lost a fair amount of money on dry cleaning bills, new luggage and having your own home inspected and treated (not to mention another hotel stay while that was being done), you have a right to ask for compensation. You may want to ask for an additional amount for pain and suffering.
A wise first step is to talk with an experienced attorney. They can evaluate the situation and help you determine whether it’s worthwhile to pursue a case.