Bed bugs can be a nightmare to your wallet.
Their bites can cause physical and psychological trauma, and even a small infestation can result in hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in property damage.
Then there’s the matter of hiring an exterminator.
Professional bed bug treatments cost an average of $1,000 on the lower end of the spectrum, and can cost as high as $10,000 for large scale infestations.
The process of removing them can take multiple treatment sessions spanning several weeks, or even months.
Fortunately, you have the option to sue for damages and get paid for all of your expenses, physical suffering, and emotional pain.
So How Much Is the Average Bed Bug Settlement?
The average settlement paid out is between $25,000 and $50,000, though how much is awarded is dependent on several factors. These factors include the degree of property damage, lost wages, medical expenses, and the amount of pain and suffering.
In a variety of bed bug cases in the past decade, victims have been eligible for lofty financial settlements, far exceeding the $50,000 mark.
Bed Bug Lawsuits in 2021
As the COVID-19 pandemic recedes from the forefront of people’s minds, many are looking forward to traveling once again.
But renewed travel means a renewed concern over bed bugs…
So many Americans are taking preventative measures before planning their next vacation.
In mid-2020, Google searches for bed bugs were still high despite the pandemic. Since bed bugs are most active when the temperature is warm, it’s likely that cases of bed bug infestations continued to spike over the summer despite less widespread travel.
Conversely, search results started to dwindle in the fall and winter–when bed bugs enter diapause, the insect equivalent of bed bugs.
Orkin Pest Control produces an annual list cataloging the Top 50 Cities with the worst bed bug infestations. The vast majority of cities on the list are hot spots of tourism and travel, with Chicago, Washington D.C and Los Angeles all making it into the top 10.
New York City, which was #6 in the 2020 list, actually fell out of the top 10 in 2021. It currently is the 12th worst city with bed bug infestations in the country.
Among related search queries, home remedies for killing bed bugs is the #1 Google search result for 2021. Other queries include What kills bed bugs instantly and How do bed bugs get in your house.
How Much Is a Bed Bug Lawsuit Worth?
As mentioned earlier, the average settlement awarded in a bed bug lawsuit is $25,000-$50,000. However, this value may be higher or lower depending on several factors presented during the case.
The following are some examples of factors which can reinforce or be detrimental to your case:
Number Of Bites:
Documenting the number of times you are bitten by bed bugs is crucial to determining the severity of an infestation. If you only received a small number of bites over a short period of time, then your case won’t go far.
On the other hand, a large number of bites inflicted over a long-term period will provide sufficient evidence of a bed bug problem.
The Amount of Damages:
You have to be able to prove that bed bugs caused significant damage to you. This can include mental distress caused by anxiety or sleep-deprivation, or financial damages related to lost wages or property damaged by bed bugs (clothes, furniture, etc.).
In cases where bed bugs have infested an apartment, a tenant-landlord agreement can shed some light on who is responsible for the infestation. Almost all states require the landlord to maintain their property to prevent pest problems, leaving them liable for legal action if they fail to do so.
If it’s proven that the tenant is the source of the infestation, then the tenant will be held accountable by law.
Disputes between tenants and landlords are common in bed bug situations, because many states don’t have concrete laws that allocate responsibility to one party vs. the other.
Bed Bug Lawsuit Settlement Examples
Most bed bug lawsuits follow a similar pattern: people discover an infestation in their home or while staying at a hotel, often dealing with the trauma and anxiety of being bitten.
They bring their case to court, and in some cases are awarded a large financial settlement.
Listed below are several bed bug settlements which occurred over the past few years.
Case Value: $40,000
Date: November 2016
A family of 3 suffered a combined total of 130 bed bug bites during a brief stay at a Comfort Inn & Suites in California. The family went to hotel management and reported the infestation, but hotel staff denied them a refund. They took the case to court and were awarded $40,000 in damages.
Case Value: $200,000
Location: Baltimore, MD
Whitney, LLP is a Maryland-based law firm who have collectively recovered $13 million in bed bug lawsuit settlements for their clients. In this particular case, they won their client $200,000 after she received over 100 bed bug bites at a hotel.
Case Value: $300,000
Location: Bushwick, NY
Date: February 2018
Luis Cotto filed a lawsuit against his landlord following a bed bug infestation of his apartment in 2015. In his case, he claimed to have suffered permanent skin damage as a result from bed bug bites. The landlord was forced to pay $300,000 in damages.
Case Value: $100,000
Location: Prince George’s County, MD
Date: September 2015
In 2014, Stacy Belle sued the Red Roof Inn after discovering bed bugs in her room. She hired a professional bed bug attorney, who won her a settlement of $100,000. It remains the largest bed bug-related settlement paid out in the state of Maryland.
Case Value: $546,000
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Date: October 2017
When the McKindra family stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in 2013, they quickly discovered that their room was infested with bed bugs. They were ultimately forced to find a new hotel, as the Hilton had been completely booked that night. The McKindras took their case to court, and in 2017 they were awarded a total of $546,000.
Biggest Bed Bug Settlements
In a few cases, victims of bed bugs are eligible to receive astronomical sums of money as compensation for their damages.
The following is a list of 3 of the biggest bed bug settlements awarded.
Case Value: $3.5 million
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: December 2017
La Brea Apartments, one of the largest apartment complexes in Los Angeles, was sued by 16 current and former tenants over bed bugs. The managers of the complex reportedly knew the infestation as far back as 2008, and all of the plaintiff tenants resided there between 2011 and 2013. The residents were awarded a combined total of $3.5 million as a settlement.
Case Value: $2 million
Location: Oakland, CA
Date: November 2018
In a class-action lawsuit, 115 tenants were awarded $2 million after winning their bed bug lawsuit. The suit was filed against the owners of the apartment complex in 2015. A similar lawsuit was filed by the city of Oakland in 2016, with a settlement still undecided.
Case Value: $1.6 million
Location: Alhambra, CA
Date: April 2018
In 2018, a Los Angeles family was awarded $1.6 million in damages related to bed bugs. The Martinez family lived at the Kahala Islander Apartments in 2010, when they received numerous bites during the infestation. They planned to use the money to cover their son’s medical costs, as he still has scars from where the bugs bit him as a baby.
How Do You Sue For Bed Bugs?
Filing a bed bug lawsuit can sound tricky at first. In most cases, they are only taken by attorneys who specialize in pest-related lawsuits: many law firms lack the necessary experience to accept these cases.
Fortunately, we’re here to make the search a bit easier.
We can put you in contact with licensed bed bug attorneys who can choose to accept your case. You can contact us at (855) 733-9217, or by submitting your case through our website.
The consultation is completely free, and you won’t pay fees unless your case is won.