Bed Bug Attack At Historic Queen Mary Ship Hotel In California Hospitalizes NY Woman. My Bed Bug Lawyer Files Lawsuit.


NEWS PROVIDED BY My Bed Bug Lawyer Inc. 

Mar 20, 2019, 11:06 ET

LOS ANGELESMarch 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — My Bed Bug Lawyer Inc. (http://www.mybedbuglawyer.com), the Nation’s leading law firm for Bedbug Litigation has filed a lawsuit against the Historic Queen Mary Hotel, Urban Commons Queensway, LLC; Evolution Hospitality, LLC, over a New York couple’s exposure to bed bugs during a recent stay at the hotel.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants failed in its obligation to provide a bed-bug-free and habitable room to the Libertelli’s. According to Brian Virag, the Founder of My Bed Bug Lawyer, Inc., the Hotel was aware of bed bug complaints prior to the couples’ stay.  “This was a situation where two unsuspecting people trusted the Queen Mary, and were betrayed. Mrs. Libertelli was bitten throughout her body, including, but not limited to her face, ears, neck, hands fingers, arms, and back, and her husband Joseph also sustained bedbug bites all over his body. The bedbug bites caused a severe allergic reaction and Mrs. Libertelli was hospitalized as a result of this incident,” said Virag.

The Libertelli’s have sustained physical, emotional, and financial injuries as a result of the exposure from the bed bug infested room they rented at the famous hotel and tourist attraction, located in Long Beach, California.

“Bed bugs don’t discriminate, they don’t check TripAdvisor before they attack,” Virag added, “They are found in hotels throughout the country and worldwide. Bed bug infestation in hotels have reached an epidemic proportion and is the most serious issue facing the hotel industry, because of the harm to a hotel’s reputation and brand.”

One in every five Americans has experienced bed bugs or knows someone who has experienced bed bugs.

Virag’s firm My Bed Bug Lawyer filed a lawsuit against the Disneyland Hotel and has also filed a lawsuit on behalf of Brazilian supermodel against Hilton Hotels over exposure to bed bugs in a Palm Desert, California. Mr. Virag has obtained the largest bed bug jury verdicts in the United States.  For more details visit http://www.mybedbuglawyer.com.

Virag’s firm specializes exclusively in representing victims of bedbug exposure from apartment buildings, hotels, or furniture stores. “We provide a voice for those who don’t have one,” added Virag.

About My Bed Bug Lawyer Inc. 
My Bed Bug Lawyer is the foremost authority on bed bug infestation lawsuits. For more information, visithttp://www.mybedbuglawyer.com.

CONTACT: 818-907-5333

SOURCE My Bed Bug Lawyer Inc.

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Kale Placed 3rd On ‘Dirty Dozen’ Produce Pesticide List

By Andria Borba

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that kale is one of the top crops affected by pesticides. The leafy green vegetable has been placed at the number three spot on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list.

“Studies link pesticides to a host of human health problems including brain and nervous system toxicity, also hormone disruption, even cancer have been linked to pesticides,” said Samara Geller of Environmental Working Group.

The data for the list comes from the USDA, which thoroughly washes and peels fruits and vegetables before testing. Geller says the pesticide problem cannot be rinsed off.

“Washing the fruit will potentially help, but it’s not going to get rid of the problem. We can’t wash our problems away that way, because pesticides are taken in through the flesh of the product,” she said.

The data was news to some kale lovers who spoke to KPIX 5 at Fort Mason.

“Then you have to figure out how to get the toxin out of you which is – we don’t know how our bodies are going to react to those toxins – what it’s doing to us inside. Is it triggering a cancer gene to turn on ,where all of a sudden we now have cancer?” said Martin Burger.

Among the pesticides found in kale in the USDA study is Dacthal.

“The EPA classified Dacthal as a possible human carcinogen–but it’s also been banned in Europe since 2009,” said Geller.

Some agricultural groups have countered that dactyl is legal according to the EPA, but Geller says the problem is that those legal levels are set on data from adults.

“The problem with the tolerances set by the EPA is that they are often set far too high to be protective of children’s health. So legal doesn’t necessarily mean safe. So often times, there is a gap between what is considered safe and what is considered legal,” said Geller.

EWG suggests that the data shouldn’t necessarily deter people from eating the fruits and vegetables on their list. In those cases, they emphasize the importance of going organic.

ANDRIA BORBA

California state and county officials falling short in evaluating use of agricultural pesticides

Daniel Melling

Treating crops

Since the 1940s, the responsibility for managing California farmers’ use of agricultural pesticides, and the substantial health risks they pose, has been shared by state and county regulators. The state’s Department of Pesticide Regulation registers pesticide products; county-level agricultural commissioners issue permits for the use of “restricted” pesticides — those that present significant human health or environmental concerns.

State law requires that when farmers apply for pesticide use permits, county agricultural commissioners must deny the use of a restricted pesticide when feasible safer alternative pesticides — as well as measures like using tarps or creating pesticide “buffer zones” that could mitigate the chemicals’ impact — are available.

But a new study by UCLA and University of Southern California researchers concludes that commissioners are issuing permits for pesticide use without considering safer alternatives, and without evaluating the health implications of “cumulative exposure,” which occurs when growers apply two or more pesticides to the same or adjacent fields.

The report is the third in a series that reviews California pesticide regulation; the studies are conducted by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA School of Law, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, and USC’s Keck School of Medicine. The prior reports documented similar flaws in how the Department of Pesticide Regulation registers pesticides for use on California farms.

► Read the researchers’ 2013 report and their 2016 report on California pesticide permitting

“The law here is very clear,” said Timothy Malloy, the report’s lead author and a UCLA professor of law and of environmental health sciences. “Before issuing these permits, the county agricultural commissioners must evaluate potential cumulative exposures and must consider safer alternatives to the proposed pesticide use. That isn’t happening.”

Toxic pesticides are widely used in California agriculture to control soil pests for strawberry, almond, citrus and other high-value crops. The chemicals sterilize the soil and permit the same crop to be planted year after year. But their use has also led to numerous cases of acute poisoning in people who work on the crops or who live nearby. Some pesticides can also increase the risk for birth defects, neurological damage, respiratory disease and cancer.

California uses more pesticides than any other U.S. state, primarily because of the large acreage of high-value specialty crops: Almost 200 million pounds per year of pesticide active ingredients were applied to California farms in 2016, the most recent year for which data were available.

State law requires that the county commissioners use their own judgment in determining safer alternatives for the pesticides that applicants are seeking to use, and that the commissioners deny applications for pesticide permits when feasible safer alternatives are available. The state also mandates that commissioners take into account the increased risk that could be caused by exposure to multiple pesticides when different chemicals are applied to the same field or adjacent fields.

“The scientific research shows that cumulative exposure to different pesticides and mixtures such as the ones we looked at in this study can lead to negative impacts on public health,” said John Froines, a UCLA professor emeritus of public health and another of the report’s authors. “Our study finds that California’s agricultural commissioners are failing to deny permits for pesticide use in cases where cumulative exposure could create a toxic scenario, putting farm workers and local residents at risk of poisoning and chronic health conditions.”

The researchers reviewed relevant policies that were available online for each of the county commissioners, as well as more extensive documents they obtained through records requests from 24 commissioners’ offices. They found that although 60 percent of commissioners expressed their commitments to evaluating safer alternatives in various policies and written submissions to the state, none had written, office-specific guidance for evaluating alternatives.

The researchers also wrote a case study on permitting practices for chlorpyrifos, a pesticide with demonstrated health risks for which some alternatives are available. They discovered that, in practice, the commissioners’ offices did not consider the availability of alternatives, and instead typically delegate the responsibility for assessing safer alternatives to farmers and their pest control advisors.

Finally, the authors developed a case study examining permitting in cases where farmworkers and nearby residents could be subject to cumulative exposure to three frequently used fumigants, chloropicrin, Telone and metam sodium. (One of the previous reports by the research team documented the potential for harmful cumulative impacts from mixtures of the three.) Their research revealed that during the permitting process, none of the commissioners considers cumulative exposure risks for farmworkers and nearby communities.

The report includes several recommendations for how county agricultural commissioners and the Department of Pesticide Regulation can better align policies and practices with state law. The recommendations include:

  • Develop Department of Pesticide Regulation guidance that sets out rigorous but realistic methods for county agricultural commissioners to follow in identifying and evaluating potential alternatives for restricted pesticides.
  • Adopt practices for Department of Pesticide Regulation and county agricultural commissioners to identify cumulative exposure scenarios at the registration and permitting stages.
  • Establish guidance and methods for testing mixtures when pesticides are being registered by the Department of Pesticide Regulation.
  • Create a task force to establish methods for assessing risks associated with cumulative exposures when pesticides are registered.

$1M lawsuit: Bed bug bites resulted in ‘severe personal injuries’

BEAUMONT – A lawsuit seeking up to $1 million in damages has been filed over bed bug bite injuries.

Javier Enrique Mireles, a Hidalgo County resident, filed suit against NG & AV Investments and Nederland Sky Club on March 14 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the lawsuit, on April 10, 2017, Mireles was a guest at Airport Inn in Nederland, where was “severely bitten by bed bugs” and as a result “suffered severe personal injuries.”

Mireles maintains the defendants should have known of the danger.

He is suing for his past and future, pain, mental anguish, impairment, disfigurement, impairment and medical expenses.

McAllen attorney Mario Davila represents him.

Judge Baylor Wortham, 136th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. D-203514

Cincinnati leaders give Millennium Hotel owner an ultimatum: Clean up or shut down

by Walter Smith-Randolph, WKRC

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – After years of asking the owners of Cincinnati’s Millennium Hotel to clean up, city leaders are now giving the owners an ultimatum: Clean up or shut down.

Mayor John Cranley and Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Deters say they plan to file a public nuisance lawsuit against the hotel’s operators, which would shut down the hotel until it’s repaired or sold.

The hotel, which is the only hotel connected to the Duke Energy Center, is not a crowd-pleaser.

“It’s a big square building,” said Evan Lewis, who works in downtown Cincinnati. “Probably could use an update.”

“It kind of needs some work,” said Jeff Little, who was visiting Cincinnati for a convention. “You figure with it being in the heart of Cincinnati, it would have some pride behind it, look a little better.”

Some downtown visitors say while it’s not a five-star place, it doesn’t look that bad.

“Cincinnati deserves the best there is, but I don’t think this is offensive in any way,” said Ryan Ramsey.

But Deters says the inside of the hotel is where it gets offensive.

“It’s got bed bug issues, the carpets are destroyed, there’s vermin issues, apparently, and we’re going to get that from the health department, but Mayor Cranley, to his credit, has tried to get them to clean this place up,” Deters said on 700 WLW Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement, the hotel’s owners are pushing back saying:

We have not seen any details of the alleged case yet, so we cannot make any specific comments at this time. Should the lawsuit be brought formally, we will carefully review it and respond accordingly.

The statement goes on to say:

We take pride in our staff and quality of service we provide, and have had no specific ‘nuisance’ complaints from guests, employees or immediate neighbors of the Millennium Hotel Cincinnati that would merit such an action. However, we are aware of the general challenges faced by the convention center and we will be pleased to listen to the views of the City, County and other stakeholders as we review our options in respect of the property.

A timeline for when the lawsuit will be filed has not been released just yet, but a similar lawsuit was filed against the Terrace Plaza Hotel last week.

Bed Bugs Are Biting And Spreading Resistant Super Bacteria MRSA

By Sy Kraft

There has been a major increase in bed bug incidence in North America and Europe in recent years and aside from being an extreme nuisance and the destroyer of property and sanity of many lives, now bed bugs carrying two types of drug-resistant bacteria have been found by Canadian researchers.

The bed bugs were found to be carrying methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE).

MRSA is a Staph infection that resists many antibiotics which makes it a very difficult disease to deal with. Some common antibiotics that MRSA resists but are used in treating other ailments include oxacillin, peicillin, methicillin, and amoxicillin).

VRE are bacterial strains of the genus Enterococcus that are resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin. To become VRE, vancomycin-sensitive enterococci typically obtain new DNA in the form of plasmids or transposons which encode genes that confer vancomycin resistance. This acquired vancomycin resistance is distinguished from the lower-level, natural vancomycin resistance of certain enterococcal species including E. gallinarum and E. casseliflavus.

Bed bugs are small, oval, non-flying insects that belong to the insect family Cimicidae, which includes three species that bite people. Adult bed bugs reach 5-7 mm in length, while nymphs (juveniles) are as small as 1.5 mm.

The study’s researchers stated:

“Further studies are needed to characterize the association between S. aureus and bedbugs. Bed bug carriage of MRSA, and the portal of entry provided through feeding, suggests a plausible potential mechanism for passive transmission of bacteria during a blood meal. Because of the insect’s ability to compromise the skin integrity of its host, and the propensity for S. aureus to invade damaged skin, bed bugs may serve to amplify MRSA infections in impoverished urban communities.”

The phenotype of the MRSA found in the bed bugs is identical to that found in tests of many Eastside patients with MRSA infections according to the report.

These findings suggest that bed bugs may act as a “hidden environmental reservoir” that promotes the spread of MRSA in overcrowded and impoverished communities.

According to a report from August 2010 by NPR:

“At first, they appeared in places that you might expect: dense city centers such as New York, where officials may seek a bed bug czar, and San Francisco, which is trying landlord-education programs to keep the pests away. But now, there are reports of bedbug infestations in homes and hotels from Ohio to Texas.”

The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is the species best adapted to human environments. It is found in temperate climates throughout the world. Other species include Cimex hemipterus, found in tropical regions, which also infests poultry and bats, and Leptocimex boueti, found in the tropics of West Africa and South America, which infests bats and humans. Cimex pilosellus and Cimex pipistrella primarily infest bats, while Haematosiphon inodora, a species of North America, primarily infests poultry.

Bed bugs are developing resistance to various pesticides including DDT and organophosphates.

Some populations have developed a resistance to pyrethroid insecticides. Although now often ineffective, the resistance to pyrethroid allows for new chemicals that work in different ways to be investigated, so chemical management can continue to be one part in the resolving of bed bug infestations. There is growing interest in both synthetic pyrethroid and the pyrrole insecticide, chlorfenapyr. Insect growth regulators, such as hydroprene (Gentrol), are also sometimes used.

Written by Sy Kraft

Don’t let the bedbugs bite

bedbugs
Bedbugs are not teeny-tiny, invisible insects. Adult bedbugs are between 3/8 to 1/4 of an inch long and are reddish-brown in color and look similar to a flattened tick. UNL Extension

There may be more to the whole “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite’” bedtime rhyme than you think.

 

A recent survey has shown an increase in the areas’ bedbug population. So what exactly do these insect look like and how can you prevent their dreaded bite?

 

Bedbugs are not teeny-tiny, invisible insects. Adult bedbugs are between 3/8 to 1/4 of an inch long and are reddish-brown in color and look similar to a flattened tick. The immatures look exactly like the adults, just a much smaller version. When they first emerge from pinhead-sized, white eggs, the young are about the size of a pinhead and have more of a light tan appearance until they feed.

Proper identification of the pest is key. There are several insects that look like bedbugs except for minor differences. To tell the difference between a bedbug and a bat bug, for example, you would need to compare the length of the hair surrounding the head of the insect to the size of its eyeball, not an easy task for the untrained eye.

 

The food source and feeding habits of the bedbug are what makes most people squirm. Bedbugs feed on blood. They would prefer human blood, but they can feed on Fluffy, Polly or Fido as well. During the day, bedbugs hide in tight places near beds or where people sleep at night. At night they come out to feed. Bedbugs locate their food source through increased levels of carbon dioxide and by sensing body heat. They normally feed on areas that aren’t covered by clothing, usually around the head, neck, arms and shoulders or even the legs and ankles.

 

Determining a bedbug infestation from bite marks isn’t the most reliable method. At one time, it was said bedbugs would feed several times in a line. Recent research has proven bedbugs feed in more random patterns. To make it more difficult, not everyone reacts the same way to bedbug bites. Some people have severe reactions to the bites, while others can have no reaction at all. Determining if you have bedbugs based upon bite marks alone is not the best method. Identification of the insect is needed to confirm a bedbug infestation.

 

Bedbugs use a variety of methods to infest. These insects are excellent hitchhikers. They can crawl into luggage in hotels or come with overnight guests, hang onto clothing or hide in personal items like purses and diaper bags.

In apartments or higher density housing situations they can move and infest neighboring rooms or apartments or sit and wait for new tenants to move in. They can also be moved in used or garage sale items like couches, vacuums or mattresses.

Bedbugs make their living in tight quarters. They live in tight places, gaps or cracks around the bed or where people sleep. With a bed, they are often found around the binding of the mattress or box spring or in tight corners of the headboard. Most bedbugs are found in the bed or within 15 feet of the bed. If you try to sleep on the couch to avoid becoming a meal of a bedbug, you might be spreading the infestation. Bedbugs can crawl as much as 20 feet away in a night looking for their next meal.

 

Prevention is the best way to keep from picking up these hitchhikers. When traveling, inspect the hotel room for bedbugs as soon as you enter the room. Look behind the headboard, the mattress and box spring and other locations near the bed. Place your luggage on the metal stand or store in the bathroom, which is usually the farthest away from the bed and has flooring that makes it easy to spot bedbugs. Zip up your luggage to keep large adults from crawling inside.

 

Inspect used items when purchasing or renting. If possible, wash in hot water and dry the item on the hottest setting for at least 30 minutes.

With a little prevention there are things that you can do to keep the bedbugs from biting and from becoming a pest. Sleep tight.

 

Elizabeth Killinger is the Horticulture Extension Educator with Nebraska Extension in Hall County. Contact her at (308) 385-5088 or ekillinger2@unl.edu. Visit the Hall County Extension website at hall.unl.edu

‘It’s A Major Health Issue’: Bed Bug Epidemic More Prevalent In Philadelphia Than Most Realize

By Stephanie Stahl

 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Bed bugs are more prevalent than many people realize. New research from the University of Pennsylvania highlights the importance of trying to eliminate infestations.

They’re in thousands of homes with bed bugs being called a public health treat. Now researchers from Penn say laws forcing disclosures about bed bugs could be an effective solution.

Would you want to sleep with these?

Here is the even creepier part – you could have bed bugs and not even know.

“They’re super good at hiding in your bed or around your bed,” said Michael Levy, associate professor of epidemiology at Penn. “Coming out at night and sucking blood and then running back and hiding again.”

That nightmarish scenario is played out in an estimated 11 percent of dwellings.

“It’s really a pervasive problem that we don’t like to talk about it very much,” Levy said, “but it’s causing a lot of pain and suffering for many individuals in the city.”

Levy and a team of epidemiologists at Penn studied the impact of trying to control bed bugs.

“It’s a major health issue, there’s no doubt about it,” Levy said. “Problems that can range from mental health issues to lack of sleep to even some allergies.”

There is also a danger with people using insecticides incorrectly to try to get rid of bed bugs.

They can hide not just in beds but in any place where people sleep.

The Penn research found that forcing landlords to disclose infestations can go a long way toward eliminating them.

“If you have a proactive legislation that incentivizes landlords and everyone really to treat for bed bugs promptly, you can really decrease the number of bed bugs quickly,” Levy said.

The legislation is pending in Philadelphia City Council.

The Penn team says there could be an initial financial impact on landlords, but research shows a cost savings for them within five years.

“I really believe with some proactive legislation,” Levy said, “we can turn the tides on this epidemic and decrease the suffering that everyone in Philadelphia is experiencing from these little insects.”

New York City and San Francisco already have laws in place requiring landlords to disclose bed bugs.

Experts say the best way to eliminate bed bugs is with a professional exterminators following by careful cleaning, washing and vacuuming.

STEPHANIE STAHL

Toronto is the worst city in Canada for bed bugs

By: Lauren O’Neil

Today in gross and hopelessly obvious news, Toronto has been found to boast a bigger bed bug problem than any other city in Canada.

The country’s largest pest control company, Orkin, just released its second annual list of the “top bed bug cities” based on the number of treatments at all residential and commercial properties between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018.

It makes sense that Toronto would have the highest number of bed bug situations needing professional attention, given that it’s Canada’s biggest city, but size doesn’t necessarily coincide with rates of infestation.

Winnipeg, for example, had the second-biggest bed bug problem of 2018, according to Orkin’s data, followed by St. John’s, Newfoundland and then Vancouver.

Montreal and Calgary, however, don’t appear on the top 10 list at all despite being Canada’s second and fourth largest cities by population.

orkin bed bugs

Pest control company Orkin puts Toronto at spot number one on its list of the worst cities for bed bugs in Canada. Lucky us. Image via Orkin Canada.

This is only the second edition of Orkin’s annual bed bug list, but the company warns that this hard-to-kill pest has become increasingly common in North America over the past 20 years.

“Bed bugs are extremely efficient hitch hikers,” reads Orkin’s blog. “They can move easily across a room and climb onto luggage or anything left on a bed in just one night… They can also be found on airplane and train seats, buses or in rental cars.”

Uh, thanks for the nightmares.

Here’s the full list of Canada’s top 10 bedbug cities if you’re so inclined:

  1. Toronto
  2. Winnipeg
  3. St. John’s
  4. Vancouver
  5. Halifax
  6. Ottawa
  7. Hamilton
  8. Sudbury
  9. Windsor
  10. Scarborough

Providence & UCLA Team Up to Prevent deadly Chagas disease – the leading cause of heart failure worldwide.

Deadly Chagas disease is transmitted by the kissing bug,  cousin to the bedbug.

February is American Heart Month and a good time to spotlight one of the leading causes of heart failure worldwide – and one that is preventable through simple screenings.

Chagas disease, caused by the chagas bugs found in Central America and some areas of the U.S., can lie dormant in victims for decades, then manifest itself with devastating consequences.For the past eight years, Providence Health & Services has teamed with the Center of Excellence for Chagas Disease at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar to screen for chagas.

UCLA cardiologist Sheba Meymandi, M.D., program director, believes all migrants from Central America, from infants to age 60, should be screened for the disease, which is curable in its early stages.

“Complications of chagas are horrific,” Meymandi said. “We have a lot of patients who need heart transplants. But if you catch them before complications, you either cure them or slow the progression.”

Eight years ago, Providence adopted the prevention program as a community outreach project, providing volunteers who screen patients.

Last month, Providence contributed $20,000 to the program for outreach in the community as part of its ongoing financial support.

A recent screening coordinated by Providence volunteers resulted in blood samples from 100 people.

The disease is caused by the chagas bug, which bites humans then defecates. Scratching the bite can result in the feces entering the bloodstream, causing a disease victims unknowingly carry for decades. The sooner one discovers the disease, the better the chance of cure, or medication to prevent its escalation.

The parasite exists in our country, but living conditions and the likelihood the species behaves differently result in fewer cases of chagas disease.

This article is a news release provided by Providence Health & Services.