Family Awarded $1.6 Million After Child Gets Scarred By Bed Bug Infestation

April 16, 2018 lil teryan 0 Comments


A family that overcame a severe bed bug infestation that left their son with lifelong scars has been granted nearly $1.6 million by a civil jury, The New York Times reports. Lilliana Martinez, 34, claimed the infestation began in 2012, two years after she and her husband moved into their home in Inglewood, California. Read on below for more details surrounding the case.


Awarded $1.6 million. A family that suffered through a severe bed bug infestation that left their son with lifelong scars has been granted nearly $1.6 million by a jury, The New York Times reports. Lilliana Martinez, 34, claimed the infestation began in 2012, two years after she and her husband moved into their home in Inglewood, California.

Slum-type living conditions. Altogether, the bed bug infestation lasted four months, leaving Martinez’s then-three-year-old son with major injuries, The Daily Mail reports. What’s more, the incident was “followed by a host of other slum-type living conditions that resulted in their having to move out and sue the unit’s owners in 2014."


Over one million dollars. Last week, a civil jury in California ordered the unit’s owners, Amusement Six Apartments, to pay the family over one million dollars— $1,593,500, to be exact. Speaking to The New York Times, the family’s attorney, Brian Virag, said the award is the largest sum ever granted to an individual family in a bed bugs case.

Diagnosis. In 2012, Martinez and her husband noticed that their then three-year-old son, Jorge Maravilla, had red spots all over his body— even on his face. Worried, they took the boy to the hospital, where they discovered his diagnosis was bug bites.

Search their apartment. “As soon as I found out, I was horrified, because I had never seen something like that before,” Martinez told The New York Times. The physician told the couple to search their apartment for pests, and not long after, they discovered the bed bugs.

Infant daughter. But Jorge wasn't the only victim: Martinez’s daughter, who was just an infant at the time of the infestation, was also being bitten. It is alleged that the pests regularly gorged on her back as she slept, according to The New York Times.

Give a voice. “I really think it’s important to give a voice to those who don’t have a voice or who can’t stand up for justice on their own,” Virag told The New York Times. Martinez claimed that she and her husband told the management company, Westland Industries, about the infestation immediately.

Throw out all of the furniture. The management company instructed the couple to throw out all of their furniture. They then sent someone to fumigate the residence, covering it in white powder, according to The New York Times.


A little place on the floor. At the time, there was not much the family could do to get rid of the infestation or keep their children safe. “All we could do is just vacuum a little place on the floor,” Martinez recalled to The New York Times. There, in that spot, is where she and her husband slept— their children nestled between them.

Nowhere else to go. “How am I going to lay my newborn baby and my 3-year-old right where everything is?” Martinez recalled to The New York Times. “But we didn’t have anywhere else to go.”

End of the infestation. The family continued to get bitten in their home for nearly four months. In the end, the infestation only died down after the management company finally decided to remove the carpeting in the apartment. The family stayed for two more years before moving out in 2014.

The decision to sue. After they moved out, the family decided to sue Amusement Six Apartments for breach of warranty of habitability, emotional distress, and negligence and breach of contract, in addition to a number of other charges. According to the complaint, the family endured “slum-type living conditions” in the unit, including a cockroach infestation.

Decision to sue. "They also suffered discomfort, sleeplessness, property damage and emotional distress, according to court documents, as the bedbugs infiltrated their belongings,” according to The New York Times. Meanwhile, the attorneys representing the management company have yet to comment.

Lifelong scars. Jorge, who is now eight years old, had the strongest bodily reaction to the bed bugs. Today, the child still has lifelong scars all over his body, including on his legs, arms, and torso from consistently scratching, according to The New York Times.

Marked for life. In the end, the jury’s verdict was “a great relief” for the family, Martinez told The New York Times, adding that it brought justice to her son. She went on to insist that the family sued for him, “because this marked him for his life.”




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