While on a trip to Virginia, a New York woman checked into a motel room alone, only to wake the next morning in complete horror of what happened to her in the night. She found some blood on her pillow and had painful marks down her back, then she made a disturbing find in the motel room sheets.
Janie Mcfarland said that her church trip couldn’t have gone worse. What was supposed the be a good night’s sleep before a busy day of worship that she was helping to lead the next day, became a nightmare of an ordeal. Now, she’s making the Super 8 motel in Albemarle County pay up big, to the tune of $5 million, for the distressing circumstances she endured.
On Janie’s first night at the motel on September 13, 2014, she climbed into bed and slept soundly through the night, until waking the following morning in shock after seeing some blood on her pillow. In a frantic search to find out why she was bleeding, she noticed that the skin on her back was raised and sore. She lifted her shirt and saw welts, then she ran back to search the sheets to see what has caused it.
She soon discovered that her body had been feasted upon all night by a colony of bed bugs, leaving her with at least 40 bites. To add insult to injury, she was completely sick the entire next day at the church service, which was her only reason for being in town that weekend.
“When I got up, I saw spots of blood on my pillow. So, they had been biting me on my neck and they were on my face,” Janie told WVIR. The bugs were visibly present beneath the sheets, which either had not been changed/cleaned regularly or intentionally ignored. “I pulled the sheet back even more and there were bed bugs from the head to the foot of the bed just scurrying around on the sheet,” she told the news station in complete disgust of the foul discovery.
Janie didn’t just feel ill that day, she claims that she was sick for a year and a half after being bitten so bad that the bite marks began to fester and transpired into an allergic reaction that covered her body in swelling. After the initial reaction and motel stay, she brought it to management’s attention, for which they denied that there was a pest problem.
In a lawsuit that followed, a federal judge ruled in her favor on Tuesday, and now it will go before the jury to decide. The motel showed proof of pest control having been out to the business several times to treat for bugs like ants, spiders, and roaches, but they couldn’t prove that they had sprayed for bed bugs once. In fact, it was later discovered that the first bed bug spray in two years was the day after Janie complained.
While $5 million is a lot to ask for in a lawsuit, it should send a message to all hotel and motel chains to keep up cleanliness if they don’t want to get sued. People are paying for a place to stay and don’t want to get sick in the process, simply because pest control is a pesky issue and an expense they don’t want to bother with. It’s only fair that if businesses are going to ask for people’s money, that they provide the quality service people should be able to expect in return.