Most states do not have laws requiring hotel owners to maintain a bedbug-free environment. New York laws only address the issue of bedbugs in public schools. However, hotel owners still have a duty of care to their tenants, and keeping bedbugs out is implicit in that duty. This duty of care is crucial to the concept of premises liability. Therefore, hotel owners who wish to avoid premises liability claims will want to know what the duty encompasses.
One thing that a court will take into account is foreseeability of harm. Thanks to advances in pest management techniques, hotel owners can request preventative measures rather than wait for an infestation in order to do something. In fact, the courts may say that owners have a duty to take such measures. On the other hand, pest management companies have a duty to tell customers how to inspect for bedbugs and prevent an infestation.
If hotel owners implement reasonable inspection and repair protocols but cannot prevent bedbugs from getting in, they may not be to blame. More aggressive measures can only be deemed necessary if the nature of the property demands it. Whether hotel owners install active mattress liners or create a full-blown prevention program, their efforts will ultimately help them save money and maintain a good brand reputation.
Someone who traces a bedbug infestation in their home to a stay at a hotel may have good grounds for a premises liability case. Since proving the link can be hard without professional help, a victim may want to hire a lawyer. Personal injury lawyers usually have a network of third parties like investigators who can build up a case.