A twice-bitten Memphis, Tenn. woman is suing MGM Resorts for $3 million in a federal court, claiming she was savaged by bed bugs in two separate hotel rooms at the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Miss.
Gloria Washington claims she suffered and continues to suffer “physical and emotional injury” after her alleged encounter with the critters, scientific name cimex lectularius.
Washington says she stayed at the Gold Strike on the evening of October 20, 2018. She was in town to attend a Halloween party at the casino. But the ghoulish festivities could not have prepared her for the real horrors that allegedly lurked under the sheets.
Bed bugs are tiny blood-sucking anthropods that commonly live in dirty mattresses, where they feed on human and animal blood via their piercing mouths. They leave brown fecal streaks on light-colored bedding and have glands that emit an odor, commonly described as “sickeningly sweet raspberries,” per the complaint.
‘Unsuitable for Humans’
When Washington awoke the next morning, she found she was covered with bites on her arms, legs, and front and back of the trunk of her body, according to the complaint. She says she reported this to the front desk and sought medical attention. The doctor confirmed she had been bitten multiple times by bed bugs and, again, she reported these findings to the casino.
Presumably believing that lightning would not strike twice, she checked into the hotel a second time on November 11, 2018. But again, she allegedly woke up with a fresh swathe of parasitic bites, which were confirmed by medical professionals to have been inflicted by bed bugs. Again, she reported this to the casino.
Both incidents caused her “physical pain, severe itching and scratching, embarrassment, humiliation, anxiety, [and] mental anguish.” The lawsuit also claims she has permanent scarring, difficulty sleeping, and has suffered economic loss because of the incident.
Washington argues the casino breached its duty of care and “failed to provide hotel rooms which were suitable for humans to occupy.”
Don’t Let the Bugs Bite
She is suing on two counts of negligence and one each of intentional infliction of emotional distress, malicious wilful and intentional business practices, and fraudulent concealment.
“Defendants had actual and constructive knowledge of the ongoing presence of bed bugs in its hotel rooms and owed a duty of care to your Plaintiff and other persons lawfully on its premises and to warn Plaintiff of such dangerous conditions,” argues the lawsuit.
By ignoring and avoiding the dangerous condition present at the hotel and on its premises, by failing to warn its hotel guests of the bed bugs, Defendants were reckless and acted in deliberate disregard of the high degree of probability that guests would suffer from bed bug bites and the emotional distress to follow,” it claims.
For her alleged ordeal, Washington wants actual damages of $500,000 and punitive damages of $2.5 million.
The casino did not respond to Casino.org’s request for comment.
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