By Mildred Walker. Bedding. Published at Friday, June 01st, 2018 - 03:05:12 AM.
"Most hotel chains don‘t keep track because the number is so insignificant," said Joe McInerney of the American Hotel & Lodging Association said at the 2006 International Bed Bug Symposium when asked about the growing number of bed bug complaints in the hospitality industry. He noted that there are more than 4.4 million hotel rooms in the U.S., adding "you could count the number of cases per day on one or two hands." Yet according to a 2004 survey of pest control professionals by Pest Control Technology magazine, hotels and motels were the most common sites of bed bug infestations, accounting for more than one-third of bed bug complaints. In a recent survey, one company reported that 24% of their 700 client hotels required bed bug treatments between 2002 and 2006. Brooke Ferencsik, spokesman for popular hotel review site TripAdvisor.com told USA Today, "We get a steady stream of bed bug reports and have hundreds of reviews" mentioning them. "Even if travelers aren‘t experiencing [bed bugs], they‘re becoming more aware and are looking out for them."
According to various experts on bed bugs, there is not just one type of bed bug...no, there are many different types of bed bugs. Bad news. Aside from the common bed bug that preys on human blood, there are bed bugs that prefer animal blood like birds or bats. To allow a better understanding, articles on bed bugs offer a glimpse of the creature‘s life cycle. Female bed bugs take their eggs and lay in hidden areas. They can give birth to 500 eggs during a lifetime. The eggs are very small, whitish, and may need magnification to be identified. Ready for more in depth knowledge on bed bugs? Eggs are sticky when first laid; making it stick to whatever surface they are placed. When they hatch, they are no bigger that a pinhead. As these bed bugs grow, they shed their skins. Some say that this shedding can happen five times before becoming adults.
The financial impact of a bed bug suit can be substantial. In the 2003 landmark case (Matthias v. Accor Economy Lodging); Toronto siblings who stayed in a bed bug-infested motel room received a jury award of $382,000 in their suit against Motel 6. In 2006, a Chicago couple sued a Catskills resort for $20 million, saying they were physically and mentally scarred after suffering 500 bed bug bites. "I was horrified to see all of those bites all over my body," said plaintiff Leslie Fox. "I was miserable. My skin felt as if it was on fire and I wanted to tear it off." In 2007, New York opera star Allison Trainer sued the Hilton hotel chain for $6 million claiming she suffered more than 100 bed bug bites at a Hilton Suites in Phoenix. Her story was widely reported in the press: "They were all over the bed and the comforter and the pillows and I pulled the sheets off and they were just everywhere." Her attorney documented 150 bites and 23 scars. Just last month a New York Supreme Court judge ruled that two Maryland tourists bitten by bed bugs during a 2003 stay at the Milford Plaza could proceed with their $2 million negligence suit, though punitive damages were denied.
As attorneys, many of us have consulted with clients and their families as a result of a fall from a hospital or nursing home bed. These falls result in fractured arms, legs, and hips, and often even more serious injuries such as skull fractures. The patient’s (or family’s) immediate reaction to these unfortunate injuries is to blame the hospital, nursing home, nursing staff, or attending physicians for the failure to have bed side rails raised and in place to prevent such falls. This typical reaction is based upon the assumption that bed rails, when properly used, will prevent the patient/resident from falling out of the bed and suffering injury. However, bed rails are not benign safety devices and this article will address the dangers created by their use.
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