Be Careful When Making Bed Bug Claims – You Might Get Sued!

The Carelton hotel located in Oak Park, Illinois is suing a couple that recently stayed at the hotel for making false claims of bed bugs at the hotel. In the month of April the couple Michael Gladstone and Liora Braun visited the Carleton Hotel of Oak Park. During this period of time the couple complained to the manager that there were bed bugs in their room. The manager of the hotel refused to acknowledge that there was a problem and insisted that there were no bed bugs in the hotel.

Once the couple had left the hotel they wrote a scathing review on tripadvisor.com, warning people to beware of the hotel because of the bed bug they found in their room. This review went on to allege that they ended up bringing the bed bugs back to their home, even after taking all the necessary precautions when arriving. According to the Carleton hotel, this negative review cost the hotel thousands of dollars in lost clients because of the seriousness of the claims.

In the lawsuit filed on June 15 at the Circuit Court of Cook County, the claimants allege that following the complaint the hotel hired a pest control company that could not identify any bed bugs. Using this as proof that there were never bed bugs in the hotel, they are suing the couple for making a false claim.

The Carleton hotel of Oak Park is seeking damages of more than $30,000 for the loss of revenue associated with the claim. The hotel claims that the “malicious” post dissuaded many people from staying in the hotel. The “loss of business and loss of reputation” are the two most important considerations of the total amount.

Although this case has yet to enter court, it will be interesting to watch and see how it turns out. Will the couple, who were adamant about the bed bugs, be given the benefit of the doubt by the courts? I personally think that the lawsuit won’t hold because of the couple speaking to the manager and directing their complaints when they initially discovered the bed bugs. This is just the case of a hotel brand trying to protect their reputation; even if they aren’t successful, it is a smart move to deter future guests from making claims about their hotel

Comments

  1. says

    My father, who owns some apartments in New Mexico, had a tenant who says her daughter brought bedbugs home from daycare. She said that when she spoke to the daycare management they acted like it was a familiar complaint & brushed her off. Later, this woman’s caseworker reported my father to the city’s health department and forced her to move; I have no idea if any action was taken against the daycare center, but he had to pay in excess of his monthly rent revenues to treat for bedbugs, plus the loss of revenues from her and his other tenants who also had to leave. I have since learned that the city’s Biopark is growing bedbugs in their laboratories, but was unable to discover why. Is there anything that he can do about this, or places to find more information?

Trackbacks

  1. [...]  There is an interesting case in point reported on June 21, 2011 in an article titled: “Be Careful When Making Bed Bug Claims—You Might Get Sued!”  The article was about the Carelton Hotel located in Oak Park, Illinois.  A couple had complained to the manager that there were bed bugs in their room.  The manager refused to acknowledge that there was any problem.  The couple upon leaving promptly wrote a review on line when they returned home.  The hotel hired a pest control company that was unable to find any proof of bedbugs in any of the rooms at the hotel.  (Cost to hire the pest control company not covered on standard forms) As a result of the negative comments, the Carleton Hotel  sued the couple for the cost of hiring a pest company to inspect the entire facility and  $30,000 for loss of revenue claiming that the “malicious post dissuaded many people from staying in the hotel.  (Again, no coverage for the hotel suing the prior guest). The loss of business and loss of reputation is not covered on the Business Income Form.  http://bedbugs.net/be-careful-when-making-bed-bug-claims/ [...]

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