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Bed Bug Class Action Suit Filed by 300 Tenants

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on November 18, 2011 5:44 AM

What to do if your bed is infected with tiny pests that can chew on your flesh as you sleep. About 300 current and former residents of two apartment buildings in Des Moines, Iowa have filed a bed bug class action lawsuit against the owners of two apartment buildings.

The buildings, Elsie Mason Manor and Ligutti Tower, are for the elderly and disabled.

Residents say that they were bitten by the pests. They also lost property, as they had to discard furniture that was badly infested. Some residents also say that they suffered a more emotional cost.

Some residents claim that family members started to shun them, reports the Des Moines Register.

It would probably have been difficult for residents to get rid of the pests by themselves without professional help. Bed bugs hide in small cracks in beds and other furniture.

Moreover, residents claim that tenants weren't properly warned about the bed bug infestation. Building residents say that the bed bug problems started back in 2007. They claim management didn't take steps to properly eradicate the bugs, according to KCRG-TV.

Court documents reflect that the bed bugs were eventually eliminated after property owners hired an extermination company. But for some residents, the damage was already done.

A judge recently certified their suit, allowing them to proceed as a class.

There are many benefits to utilizing a class action. The bed bug class action suit can bring together multiple smaller suits that may be impractical to litigate separately. And, bringing a class action can lower the legal costs for individual class members. The bed bug lawsuit has an additional benefit: it typically allows all plaintiffs in the class to get something from the defendant if they prevail.

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