Annapolis Woman Wins $800 K for Undisclosed Bedbug Infestation
After moving into a house, turned into an apartment, Faika Shaaban, 66 years old noticed a spot on her body that looked like a simple rash. After a short time the rash got worse and more itchy. For months the bumps spread and got worse, this cause scabs and lesions from head to toe.
When she asked the landlord if he knew what could be causing this, he denied knowing what it could be. Fakia Shaaban’s lawyer claimed that while Barrett said he had no idea what was causing the breakouts, he knew that the gray house and black shutters was infested with the bedbugs.
After deliberation, Faika Shaaban was awarded $800,000 in compensatory and punitive damages for her 8.5 months of loss and suffering. That was twice the amount that her lawyer asked for.
An inspection record shows a complaint to city officials in August 2011 for mice and that the landlord did nothing to correct it. The owner was notified of the mice and a potential bed bug infestation, the record shows that “Is taking steps to remedy.” Shaaban broke out with her rash within one month in which she moved in.
Bed bugs are apple seed sized bugs and only come out at night o their victims rarely know they’re there. Shaaban knew not of the bugs but on April 4, 2012 she went to the county office to seek help in getting another apartment. Doctors performed a biopsy on her skin and confirmed the county workers suspicion of bed bug bites.
Shaaban worried bout the othere tennets in the home, especially a neighbor with a baby. She went to warn them and the woman told Shaaban that she had reported the problem to Barrett weeks ago and nothing had been done yet.
Shaaban then went to the superintendent of the building and told him about the problem, since he too lived in the home. He was aware and afraid he’d lose his job if he told the tenants, he too had been bit nightly by the bugs. After this Shaaban contacted city employees and Barrett was found in violation and ordered to hire a professional pest control.
Shaaban was forced to stay in the infested house due to limited funds. All of her belongings were also infested. Shaaban sold nautical souvenirs at events which were also part of the infestation. According to Shaaban, Barrett got vindictive and started shutting the hot water off and eventually shuts the water supply off to the apartment. In May Barrett was in violation of no providing water for his tenant’s.
Shaaban was out of the home in the following month, Barrett had evicted her and put all of her bed bug infested belongings onto the sidewalk. By the time the poor thing gets home most of her things were picked over on her two bus rides. Shaaban got panicked and tried to warn people that her things were infested she even put a sign on the side walk stating so.
Within days the home was listed as an unlicensed property due to noncompliance and is currently listed for sale. Shaaban is currently living in a clean townhouse in Anne Arundel County. She lost everything she owned for her business due to the bed bug infestation.