When you go on vacation, you expect to have a carefree, enjoyable time. After all, you work so hard during the rest of the year, that you deserve the time to kick back, relax and enjoy a few days with your loved ones. At least, that’s what most people are expecting. And frankly, we don’t blame them.
So when issues arise while you’re away, it can be aggravating to have to deal with them. Nothing ruins a trip faster than some uninvited guests. And, as a maritime law firm, we know that when it comes to vacation-crashers, bed bugs are some of the worst.
These tiny, blood-sucking bugs are just about the last thing anyone ever wants to see, whether at home or away. A recent story out of the Bahamas reminds us just how devastating a bed bug infestation can be.
Last year, Cindi Avila and her husband Mike checked into the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, to enjoy a few days of blissful relaxation. What they experienced, however, was anything but stress-free.
After one night, Mrs. Avila woke up with over 100 bites all over her body. She and her husband flipped over the mattress cover to discover a colony of bed bugs and copious bed bug excrement all on her side of the bed. She immediately alerted the hotel to this infestation, but claims they did not seem interested.
The Daily Mail UK reports that housekeeping and security were alerted to the bed bug situation, but that the staff would not investigate until the Avilas checked out of the room.
Ultimately, the hotel did compensate Mrs. Avila for incidental expenses (the room was already paid for by a casino compensation voucher), and offered to pay some of her bills. However, their offer was not enough.
Attorney Winkleman Steps In
We are proud that our own maritime attorney, Michael Winkleman, is handling this case. Although he’s navigated many bed bug cases in the past, he says he’s never seen anything as bad as this. In a recent TV appearance, Attorney Winkleman explains his view of the situation.
Winkleman believes the hotel should take responsibility for this issue. When speaking to CBS, he said, “When you check into a hotel, the Atlantis hotel that is really a five-star hotel, that comes with expectations, one of which is that the sheets are going to be clean and you’re not going to be eaten alive by bedbugs.”
As she healed from her bug bites, Mrs. Avila said she had never been in more pain in her life. Even her doctor reported that he’d never seen a situation as bad as hers.
As for the proposal to pay for her medical bills, Attorney Winkleman told Inside Edition that the offer, “was insulting in relation to the harm done to Cindi,” and that they, “look forward to a jury ultimately resolving the issue of what is a fair money award for what happened to Cindi due to the hotel’s gross negligence.”
In the mean time, we can all take this situation as a reminder to never settle for hotel standards that put you in harm’s way. Hotels have a responsibility to provide safe, clean places for you to stay while you enjoy your vacation. So do not be afraid to speak up, if you feel that your needs and expectations are not being met.
If you have questions about your legal situation and are ready to take the next step, do not hesitate to contact us.
Our attorneys are ready and willing to meet with you, listen to your story, and help guide you along the path to recovery.