Is it possible to claim compensation for bed bug bites in a hotel? I recently stayed in a hotel with an infestation of bed bugs and had a severe reaction after being bitten more than 60 times in the night.

Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor

Editor in Chief

Eoin P. Campbell

Question:

Is it possible to claim compensation for bed bug bites in a hotel? I recently stayed in a hotel with an infestation of bed bugs, and I had a severe reaction after being bitten more than 60 times in the night.

Answer:

In order to claim compensation for bed bug bites in a hotel, it has to be established that you sustained an injury which was sufficiently serious to warrant professional medical attention and that your injuries were attributable to a failure in a hotel’s duty of care to its guests.
Your claim for bed bug bites in a hotel will have to be supported by your medical records which show that you received professional medical treatment following your severe reaction. First aid or self-administered treatment would not suffice when making a compensation claim for bed bug bites in a hotel.

Thereafter, it has to be demonstrated that the hotel room you were allocated was not clean or safe for guests to use and represented a hazard to health. If an infestation had been discovered, the hotel should have ensured that the problem had been rapidly resolved and should not have allowed guests to use the room until the problem has been properly dealt with.

A complaint to the hotel and a report written in their “Accident Report Book” may result in an admission of liability and should result in a reduction in the charges due to failing to provide you with a room which was habitable. Indeed, the accommodation charges may even be waived completely.

However, whether it will be worth your while to claim compensation for bed bug bites in a hotel will depend on the number of bites suffered, your adverse reaction to the bites and the consequences to your quality of life due to your bed bug bite injury. Bed bug bites can be highly painful, but they tend only to result in a short period of discomfort and it is in your best interests to discuss your claim for compensation for hotel bed bug bites with an experienced personal injury solicitor to assess that the value of your claim justifies the expense you may incur in pursuing it.