Should’ve Seen This Coming? Landlord Sued for Failure to Warn

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A high-school teacher who says she was humiliated by students and peers over bite marks on her arms is suing her landlord over the culprits- bedbugs that invaded her apartment after she had lived there for a year.

The former tenant, who claims she can no longer go to bed at night without turning her room upside down hunting for bugs and needs to keep her arms covered even in the summer to hide scarring, filed suit against her former Baltimore-area landlord asking the court for a judgment in excess of $100,000.

Her attorney believes this to be the first case in Maryland concerning a landlord’s duty to warn of the dangers of bedbugs.  The theory of the case is based in negligence, more specifically premise liability, which outlines the duty owed by the owner of a property to those who are invited or licensed to use it.

The landlord in the case is denying it had any inkling that bed bugs were in the units, and once they were discovered, the pests were eradicated as quickly as possible.

If the tenant is successful, the case could impact the way landlords handle routine pest inspections.

For more, see Are You Screening Your Tenants for Bedbugs?

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