A Maryland woman was awarded $800K in the bed bug infestation lawsuit she filed against her former landlord.
Faika Shaaban said that she lost almost everything she owned after getting evicted from her apartment. This is in addition to the numerous bites and lesions she suffered from the bugs that lived inside the residence.
Shaaban moved into the residence in September of 2011. The 69-year-old woman began having trouble with bed bugs soon after. Although she attempted to alert the landlords to the situation, they ultimately ignored her complaints.
The woman’s attorney said other tenants in the building also had issues with the bed bug infestation. However, the landlord chose to ignore these complaints as well.
Faika Shaaban was later evicted from the apartment and her belongings shuffled to the curb. Since she had nowhere to stash her possessions, they were soon stolen off the street. Her lawyer explained that she lost almost everything she owned as a result of the landlord’s actions.
“All of these items went into the community infested,” she explained.
After listening to the case presented by her attorney, the jury returned after only 45 minutes of deliberation. Shaaban was awarded $800K in the bed bug infestation case. The woman received $150,000 in compensatory damages and $650,000 in punitive damages from her former landlord.
Alabama lawyer Tom Campbell believes bed bug cases like Shaaban’s are only going to become more frequent as the problem persists. Other landlords are no doubt paying attention to how this case played out in court.
“You are going to see a rapid growth of bedbug claims over the next decade. There are enough lawyers who are getting trained so that people will be able to find lawyers, so that people will find a way to get relief,” he explained.
What do you think about the $800K awarded in the recent bed bug infestation case in Maryland? Do you think landlords should be punished for ignoring complaints from tenants?
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