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Bed Bug Claims: Bringing and Defending Suits Against Hotels, Landlords, Airbnb Owners, Manufacturers, and Sellers

Causation Issues, Proof of Damages, Defensive Steps

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide trial lawyers the information they need to handle surprisingly common bed bug bite claims. Whether these claims lead to multimillion-dollar class action claims against landlords or six-figure damage awards against hotels and motels, these claims are on the rise, and knowing how to handle them is an essential part of any personal injury practice.


Environmentally driven changes in pesticide use have reawakened a threat long thought destroyed. Cimex lectularius--the common bed bug--has been causing injuries in hotels and other rental properties at an alarming rate. Six- and seven-figure verdicts and settlements are not unusual. Thus, whether pursuing or defending these claims, trial counsel must be entirely up to speed on the issues.

One element of complexity concerns the varying duties owed by potential defendants, ranging from long-term landlords to short term Airbnb type arrangements. Manufacturers and sellers of furniture--particularly used furniture--also face exposure. Legal issues concern negligence; the warranty of habitability; causal connections; duty to mitigate and remediate; abatement of rent; right of access; cost-sharing and shifting; proof of injury; and the scope of legally-cognizable damages.

There are practical aspects to bringing and defending these claims. Because it can take several days for a bite to manifest itself, an injured party traveling from city to city may not know where the attack occurred and certainly is in no position to preserve evidence. Property owners, on the other hand, must take care to regularly document efforts to detect and respond to bed bug issues.

Listen as this panel of bed bug litigation veterans defines the issues raised by these claims, discusses the applicable law, and reviews the steps necessary to bring or defend a claim.



  1. Potential defendants
  2. Theories of liability
    1. Simple negligence
    2. Warranty theories
  3. Potential proof problems
    1. Evidence of infestation-causing injury given lapse of time
    2. Valuation of damages
  4. Defense positions


The panel will review these and other vital issues:

  • Places where bed bug related claims originate
  • Potential defendants for such claims
  • Manners and methods of proving liabilty and damages
  • Steps available to protect from legal exposure


Grant I. Schwarz
Grant I. Schwarz

Managing Attorney
GS Law Group

Mr. Schwarz provides representation for individuals who have suffered injuries as a result of others negligence. He has...  |  Read More

Whitney Jr., Daniel
Daniel W. Whitney, Jr.


Mr. Whitney concentrates his practice in bed bug litigation, termite damage claims and  consumer fraud cases...  |  Read More

Youssef, Matthew
Matthew J. Youssef

Niles Barton & Wilmer

Mr. Youssef is a partner in the firm’s Corporate and Litigation Departments. He has broad litigation experience...  |  Read More

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