What are my rights if I stayed at a hotel for 4 nights and got bed bug bites?

Every morning I would wake up with new bug bites on my body. At first I thought they may have be mosquito bites. After a friend stayed the night and woke up with bites as well, I knew they were bed bug bites. I spoke with the manager and he refused to help me in any way. I need to know what to do because I want my money back. That was a terrible experience.

Asked on August 12, 2015 under Business Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the hotel rooms were not habitable, then you should not have been charged. If the hotel will not voluntarily reimburse or repay you, your option would be to sue the hotel for your money back. If the hotel was not local, though, it may be difficult or expensive to do this, especially if the hotel was in a different state: when you are suing someone who is not local, you typically cannot sue in small claims court; and it is always more expensive and complex to sue someone in another state.

Note that there is a factual problem for you: that you stayed there after the first night, even after being bitten. That can indicate that the conditions were not uninhabitable, since you chose to stay there. More generally, to win a lawsuit like this, you'd have to prove in court that there were bedbugs and that the conditions were unreasonably bad. You can use credible testimony or photographs; and, of course, the hotel could interpose its own evidence (e.g. testimony of the managers or housekeeping staff) that there was no bedbug problem, and the court would decide who is more believable.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.