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‘Bed bug lawyer’ talks about his journey of recovering massive compensation for victims of bed bugs

Daniel W. Whitney, Jr is the owner of the law firm Whitney, LLP in Towson, Maryland along with his father Daniel W. Whitney. Also known as the ‘bed bug attorney,’ he and his father have represented hundreds of people in bed bugs cases, recovering over $10,000,000 for victims of bed bugs. His firm represents individuals who are bitten by bed bugs in hotels or in bed bug infested apartments. Their clients include residents of their home state of Maryland as well as hotel guests across the United States.

In this candid interview, Daniel talks about his journey as a bed bug lawyer, helping a wide range of clients and his firm being featured in the news as the ‘$9 Million Bed Bug Lawyer’.

Interviewer: Give us a brief look into your background?

Daniel: I grew up in Catonsville, Maryland and went to undergrad at McDaniel College, then law school at Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Delaware.  After graduating from law school I began to practice law with my father at Whitney, LLP.

Interviewer: What inspired you to become, as they call you, the ‘bed bug lawyer’?

Daniel:  The practice began when a family member came home with bed bug bites after traveling in Europe, with her luggage potentially infesting the home.  We found out firsthand how expensive it is to treat them, and what a stressful situation dealing with an infestation is.  Then we realized that many other people were dealing with similar issues, and decided to start doing bed bug litigation.  The practice has exploded and continues to grow every year.

The ‘$9 Million Bed Bug Lawyer’ news story ran on WJLA in February 2019.  They decided to do a story because bed bugs are such a disgusting thing to have happen, and we have been able to help so many people in dealing with it.  That piece, and others like it, help spread awareness that people have legal rights when it comes to bed bugs. 

Interviewer: What should someone do if they suffer from bed bugs in a hotel or new apartment?

Daniel:   In both situations, the sooner the guest or tenant retains legal counsel, the better.  When clients call us early on, we are able to take action and guide them to make sure that certain things are done that will make for a strong legal case.

With a bed bug infested hotel room, it is critical to preserve the evidence that will support a legal claim.  That means documenting the bed bugs in the room either by catching one, taking a video or taking photographs. The bites that the guest sustains need to be photographed as well, and the hotel manager needs to be put on notice of the infestation.  We recommend that the hotel guest call the local health department to have an independent inspection done and to create a public record of the infested hotel room. 

Medical attention is often necessary when a person sustains a severe allergic reaction to bed bug bites, and should be sought as soon as possible.  People sometimes have no idea why their body is reacting in such a horrible way until their doctor tells them it looks like they were bitten by bed bugs.

In an infested apartment, tenants should immediately notify the property manager once they suspect bed bugs are present so that treatment can be quickly scheduled.  Similarly, documenting evidence is very important.  We recommend that the tenant call the city or county code inspector to report the infestation.  We have found that having code enforcement agency get involved often gets a better response from the management company in terms of them being diligent in treating the infestation.

Interviewer: How does your firm help people suffering from such cases?

Daniel:  When people come to us, they know that they are no longer alone in dealing with their problem.  Their problem becomes our problem, and then we figure out how to resolve it in a way that works best for them.  In addition to being a shoulder to lean on, we recover compensation for our clients and handle the legal process. In our legal system, monetary compensation is the means by which victims are made whole by the party that injures them.  And it is our belief that when someone is placed in a bed bug infested hotel, apartment or vacation rental, and sustains a serious allergic reaction, they deserve significant compensation.  It is that belief that has lead to us recovering over $10,000,000 for our clients who are victims of bed bugs.

Interviewer: What other services are offered by your firm?

Daniel:  In addition to bed bugs, we represent clients in home termite damage claims and claims against new and used car dealerships.  The common denominator is that in each situation, we represent a client who has been taken advantage of.  As ‘termite lawyers’ we represent homebuyers who unknowingly purchase termite damaged houses.  The buyers place their trust in termite damage inspection companies and their own real estate agents. Unfortunately, termite damage inspection companies often fall short with respect to finding termite damage.  Buyers’ real estate agents sometimes fail to schedule termite inspections, mislead the buyers as to an inspection being done when it was not, or misrepresent to the buyers that the termite damage that was discovered is not serious. Anyone of these failures, or a combination of them, can have very real and serious consequences for the home buyers, who are now stuck in a damaged and de-valued house.

We also represent consumers in cases involving car dealership fraud.  We have found that there are an alarming number of forgeries committed after consumers sign the sale or lease paperwork.  The forgeries are usually committed for the purpose of the dealership making more money.  In fact, one out of every five contracts we review contains forged signatures. It is almost unbelievable at the amount of forgeries we see committed at both new and used car dealerships.  

Interviewer: Tell us something about a few cases you have encountered?

Daniel:  We currently have a bed bug case in Ocean City, Maryland where our client was bitten 822 times over a few nights while she was there for vacation.  During pre-suit negotiations, they refused to put a reasonable offer on the table.  After we filed the lawsuit, we found out the name of the prior guests.  We investigated and discovered that one of the guests who was in the same room two weeks before our clients had also been bitten badly by bed bugs, and had shown their bites, and a bed bug they caught, to the property manager.  Instead of then getting the room treated, the property manager left those guests in the room, and then placed our clients in the infested and untreated room.  

In another recent case in Baltimore, Maryland, this one involving termites, our clients were buying a house. Their own real estate agent told them that a termite inspection had been completed.  After buying the house, they found extreme termite damage that had been hidden by new drywall, and also found extensive damage in the attic that would have been found had a termite inspection been done.  When our clients found the damage, they asked their agent what the termite inspection report said.  Then their agent replied that she had actually not scheduled the termite inspection, she just marked it complete because she did not think they needed it.  This is a good example of how the misrepresentations by a real estate agent can be disastrous for new homebuyers.

Interviewer: Do you think there is a lack of awareness in people regarding their rights as a consumer?

Daniel:  Absolutely. Most people who encounter bed bugs are unaware of the significant legal rights they have.  People who experience bed bugs might initially ask for only a refund, or a free month of rent as compensation.  They have no idea that their claims may be worth tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars.  We have represented a number of clients who were offered a few hundred dollar to settle their claims by the insurance company, and after we took their case and filed suit, we recovered large six-figure settlements for them.

It is very similar with termite damage cases.  We have seen several times where the new buyer finds significant termite damage and reports it to their agent, who basically says “you are on your own.”  It is only though doing their own research online for ‘termite lawyer’ and other related phrases that they come to learn they not only have legal rights, but can hire legal counsel to seek significant compensation for what has happened to them.  We are always happy to inform and educate people, and then aggressively apply our legal skills to recover maximum compensation for them. 

Media Contact
Company Name: Whitney, LLP
Contact Person: Daniel W. Whitney, Jr.
Email: Send Email
Country: United States

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