NBC News Channel 13 – August 23, 2015 – DES MOINES, Iowa — Nine months after the City of Des Moines was slapped with a class action lawsuit over a bedbug infestation at a public housing complex, the problem apparently continues. Robert Straub of Des Moines lives at Royal View Manor. He says the bedbugs are so bad, he missed his granddaughter’s second birthday party. “It’s like having leprosy. When you have bedbugs it’s like you’re a leper.” Straub said, “You know, nobody in their right mind wants you over at their house if they suspect you’re gonna track a bedbug in there.”
Attorney Jeffery Lipman filed the suit. He’s the guy who last year was awarded $2.45 million from the city after he sued because of a similar problem at Elsie Mason Manor. The suit also resulted in new protocols being put into place at Elsie Mason to combat bedbugs. Protocols that Lipman says are needed at Royal View Manor. “And if you have that you’re on top of the problem. If you don’t it’s going to explode into a disastrous situation.” Lipman said, “And it has.”
The city says it’s spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years combating the bedbugs at Royal View Manor. Beyond that, the city can’t comment because of the pending lawsuit.
Straub says he doesn’t care about a multi-million dollar settlement. The 60-year old cancer patient says he just wants his remaining years to be bedbug free. “This bedbug issue is more anxiety provoking to me than cancer is. I accept the cancer. I know my treatment options. I know what they’re gonna do. But this bedbug issue..”Straub said, “I’m really starting to feel like a leper”