A jury ruling and a stern message from a Florida attorney, Dennis Lopez, warn that hotels and the hospitality industry will pay in the long-term if they do not take a proactive stance with bed bug inspections and treatment.
In Sarasota, Florida a jury of six took just three hours to find a Venice Holiday Inn negligent in a bed bug attack on a visiting patron. The bite victim, Ronald Rock received over 60 bites, emotional trauma, and permanent scarring after spending a night at the hotel in Sarasota County back in 2005.
As a result of the ruling, the hotel was compelled to award Rock damages for past medical expenses, lost clothing and missed work time. See full video coverage below.
The larger story here is that if these incidences continue to increase—and they will, hotels that are not taking minimal steps to inspect and treat for bed bugs will lose out every time. Rock’s attorney said the verdict should send a message to the hospitality industry:
"This was never an extermination issue, this was a hotel management and housekeeping issue in which the most minimal and reasonable inspection of the bedding would have revealed this infestation and prevented Mr. Rock from being exposed to it," said Lopez
—Excerpts @10 Connects.com
Many hospitality industry leaders have taken proactive steps to stay educated on bed bug prevention as well as inspection and treatment methods. Consider the Philadelphia hospitality industry; they hosted an educational bed bug seminar for hotels and hospitality leaders statewide.
Companies like these should be applauded for their efforts, but what can hotel visitors do about the few bad apples?
Fortunately, legal recourse is an option as similar court rulings seems to indicate that judges and juries are beginning to acknowledge the physical, emotional and financial risks bed bugs pose. Travelers can also take proactive steps to protect themselves during travel or overnight hotel visits. For some basic tips see our travel guide summary: http://www.bedbugcentral.com/bed-bug-central-travel-lite.pdf
Story provided by (10 Connect.com via Preston Rudie)