Md. woman awarded $800K over bedbug infestation
Posted: 7:32 am Fri, May 31, 2013
ANNAPOLIS — A woman who lived for more than eight months in a bedbug-infested apartment in Annapolis has been awarded $800,000 because her landlord allegedly failed to correct the problem.
An Anne Arundel County jury deliberated 45 minutes on Wednesday before making the award to Faika Shaaban. She rented an apartment in a house owned by Cornelius J. Barrett.
The award was twice what Shaaban asked for.
Shaaban’s lawyer, Daniel Whitney, told The Capital of Annapolis that the jury sent a message with the award.
He said that when Shaaban, 66, rented the apartment in September 2011, there was an open code violation for a bed bug infestation, but Barrett did not reveal that information.
Whitney said when his client moved into the apartment the next month, she developed a rash that was eventually diagnosed as bedbug bites. “Every night, blood-sucking parasites would come into her bed and feed upon her,” Whitney said.
The lawyer said a neighbor had reported the infestation to Barrett, who did nothing. Whitney also said the city found Barrett in violation and ordered to hire a licensed, professional pest control contractor to eradicate. Barrett failed to comply, he said.
Whitney says Shaaban was evicted in June 2012 and all her bedbug-infested belongings were thrown out on the street. Some items were stolen — meaning the thieves probably got more than they bargained for.
The Capital says Barrett did not answer repeated calls to his home seeking comment.
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