by Maya Chung
A Florida woman has filed a lawsuit against a popular Bahamas resort after she claims she found hundreds of bedbugs in her hotel room.
Cindi Avila, who currently lives in Miami, was on vacation at the Atlantis on Paradise Island last January when she says she discovered the infestation.
“One morning I woke up and I noticed I had some bites on my body, within a minute,” Avila told InsideEdition.com. “I then saw a bug jumping on the bed and I smashed it. All of sudden my body was just popping out with bites everywhere. It was immediately very painful, very itchy.”
Avila said she immediately called management and went to see a hotel nurse, but hotel brass initially insisted on inspecting her room after she checked out.
Avila said she inspected the room herself, and couldn’t believe what she found.
“I could not believe my eyes. I pulled up the mattress and there were hundreds of bedbugs. I knew this had probably been there for months and this bed skirt had never been changed,” Avila said. “I think that’s what I was most stunned about…and how many other people did this happen to? How many other people is it going to happen to?”
In a video that Avila says she captured in the hotel room, bedbugs can be seen crawling on a bed skirt, along with a good amount of bedbug excrement.
Avila said she waved down a housekeeper and called management and they all witnessed the bugs crawling on the bed.
However, Avila claims that the hotel acted as though they did not care, but did later refund her the money for her stay.
Avila says she had to take steroids to get rid of the bites and spent a fortune on several expensive creams.
“I was in more pain than you can ever ever imagine. It was about five days of no sleep. I felt like my body was on fire. It was as if I had burned. Nothing offered relief,” Avila said.
Representatives for the Atlantis said that they immediately took the room out of service once Avila checked out and called in a professional pest company to eradicate the problem.
They added that an offer was extended to Avila to help with her medical bills, but she wouldn’t accept it.
“The resort offered to reimburse Ms. Avila for any medical bills resulting from her experience, which she declined. Since that time, Ms. Avila has repeatedly, and through three different attorneys, attempted to extract a large financial settlement from the resort and threatened intimidation in the media if her financial demands were not met,” their statement said.
Avila’s attorney, Michael Winkleman, said that although they did offer a financial compensation previously, it simply wasn’t enough.
“Atlantis did make a nominal settlement offer but it was insulting in relation to the harm done to Cindi,” Winkleman said. “We 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.”