|By Noelle Frampton, Connecticut Post,
BridgeportMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 24, 2009 - MILFORD -- A New York man who stayed one night at a city hotel is suing the hotel over bedbug bites he said he got there two years ago.
According to a lawsuit transferred this week to Milford Superior Court from New Haven Superior Court, Luis Jorge, of Glendale, N.Y., is seeking more than $15,000 from the Howard Johnson Hotel at 1052 Boston Post Road.
The suit claims that, on June 10, 2007, Jorge checked into the hotel for a seven-day stay. He went to bed that night, only to be awoken by "discomfort on both of his arms and his legs" and the subsequent realization that "he had been severely bitten by bedbugs." The bites covered most of his body and caused inflammation, sleeplessness, panic attacks and "severe emotional distress," the lawsuit states.
It also claims that Jorge incurred medical expenses and lost "enjoyment of life's activities" both then and in the future.
"It really is the 'ick' factor here," said Jorge's attorney, Maria A. Cahill.
Cahill said her client, who was in town to attend a class on home inspections in New Haven, continues to suffer from insomnia and anxiety due to his encounter with unwanted bedfellows.
David G. Hill, the hotel's Hartford-based attorney, said he is viewing the suit as frivolous as he awaits more details in the next week or two.
"There's no merit to the case," he said. "This is the only person ever to claim that there were bedbugs at the hotel, therefore, we have every reason to doubt the legitimacy of the case."
Motel tenants before and after Jorge didn't complain, Hill said, adding the rooms are routinely cleaned.
The lawsuit begs to differ, saying the motel failed to properly inspect and clean the room, and additionally neglected to warn Jorge of the tiny terrors inside.
According to Cahill, Jorge immediately informed hotel staff of his bites and canceled his stay, receiving a refund for the remaining nights.
He also went to the Hospital of St. Raphael emergency room, where he was given a prescription for topical hydrocortisone to treat his bites, she said.
Cahill said the two parties are discussing a possible settlement and declined to specify exactly how much money in damages Jorge is seeking.
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