Can you sue a motel for having bed bugs?

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Can you sue a motel for having bed bugs?

We have pictures and videos of the bugs and our bites. It’s been a few days and the bites are scarring and leaving dark marks all over our arms, legs, lower back, chest, and even face and neck. Our clothes were on the floor in the room too. If so about how much can we sue for? Also, there was mold in the bathroom above the shower and dust piled up in the vent and we have pictures and videos of those too.

Asked on March 25, 2012 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can only sue for actual losses (e.g. medical costs or lost wages) or for significant pain and suffering--e.g. if you have found youself unable to do ordinary life functions due to pain or disability, at least for some length of time; if the scarring you describe is permanent and disfiguring; etc. From what you write, it is unlikely that--as reprehensible and disturbing as this was--that you could sue for enough money to justify the cost of a lawsuit. If you have, on the other hand, incurred significant costs or experienced significant pain and suffering, then you could sue for an amount commensurate with those losses, costs, or injuries; as rough rule of thumb, total up your out-of-pocket costs (including for medical care), then double or treble it for pain and suffering, and that's a reasonable amount to seek.


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