A woman has launched a lawsuit against Disney after claiming to have been ridden with bed bug bites at a Disneyland resort. Dr. Ivy Eldridge, 41, says she woke up covered in bedbug bites while staying at the Anaheim amusement park’s Disneyland Hotel. She needed medical attention for a rash which covered her body and said she suffered emotional distress from the traumatic experience. Eldridge – the vice principal of a school in Riverside – stayed at the hotel in April 2018.
The lawsuit accuses Walt Disney Co., the Disneyland Hotel, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, of failing to provide a room which was free of bedbugs, as well as not responding adequately to the situation. Photos of Eldridge with bites and welts on her back, ears, neck, and shoulders will be presented as evidence in the suit. She is suing the entertainment giant for unspecified damages to compensate for the mental and physical issues suffered.
A Disney spokeswoman said the company’s resorts – including the Disneyland Hotel, which costs guests an average of around $500 a night – work hard to ensure the comfort and safety of guests.
Hotel Bedbug Issues
Bedbugs are tiny insects which bite humans to feed on their blood. They are called bedbugs because they prefer to hide out in beds. These bugs like soft surfaces in dark places, and often feed on unwitting targets when they are sleeping so they are not disturbed while feeding.
Bedbugs can pop up anywhere, but they are often found in hotel and motel rooms. They can spread quickly, turning hotel rooms with frequent visitors into bedbug hotspots. Disney has dealt with bedbug issues before at its Anaheim resort. The Grand Californian Hotel and Spa was also sued over a possible bedbug outbreak in 2016.
Hotels have a responsibility to ensure cleanliness and respond in a timely and efficient manner to any bedbug issues. Bites can cause rashes, reactions, and scarring, and they can be viewed as serious injuries in the eyes of the law. However, bedbug issues can also be difficult to identify until someone has been bitten, because the insects usually wait to appear at night.
While it is unreasonable to expect hotel staff and management to anticipate a bedbug issue before anyone is bitten, they do have a duty to promote clean conditions and guest safety. Depending on the circumstances, a hotel may be found liable in a bedbug bite case, and the punishment can be severe. In 2017, a family was awarded $546,000 after suffering bedbug bites at the Hilton Garden Inn in Rancho Cucamonga.
Bedbug victims should gather evidence, such as pictures of bites, and the insects themselves if possible. They should also get medical treatment if needed, and contact an experienced premises liability attorney at Bisnar Chase for expert legal guidance.