Los Angeles Times

Disney pays $100,000 to settle bedbug suit

- By Hugo Martín

The Disneyland Resort has agreed to pay $100,000 to a resort hotel guest in a lawsuit settlement addressing claims she was bitten by bedbugs during a visit in 2018, according to her attorney.

The lawsuit says Ivy Eldridge was bitten numerous times by bedbugs and suffered physical and emotional damage after staying at the Disneyland Hotel in April 2018 while visiting the theme park with family members.

Disney representa­tives said that the case was settled to avoid costly litigation and that the resort’s three hotels employ experts, including entomologi­sts, to avoid bedbug problems.

“We have robust preventati­ve measures in place so that our guests are comfortabl­e and safe during their hotel stays,” a Disney spokespers­on said.

The settlement was reached in March, but the payment by Disney was completed only in the last few days. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, sought punitive damages as well as damages for physical and mental suffering but did not specify a dollar amount.

“Bedbugs don’t discrimina­te; they are found in hotels of all quality levels throughout the country and worldwide,” Brian Virag, the Encino attorney representi­ng Eldridge, said in a statement. “Bedbug infestatio­ns are perhaps the most serious issue facing the hotel industry because of the harm they can do to a hotel’s reputation and brand,” said Virag, who specialize­s in bedbug lawsuits.

The lawsuit said that Disneyland Hotel knew it had a bedbug problem and the failure to act “was so extreme and outrageous as to go beyond all bounds of decency.”

Eldridge “endured many sleepless nights and much emotional and mental distress, coupled with other physical conditions associated with severe mental and emotional distress,” according to the lawsuit. Photos provided by Virag show what appear to be red bite marks on her shoulders, neck, back and ears.

Virag said the Disneyland Resort had been sued in 2016 over bedbug problems at another resort hotel — Disney’s Grand California­n Hotel & Spa — and should have eliminated the bug problem at Disneyland Hotel before Eldridge checked in. That suit was dismissed before it got to a jury.

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