Dutchess couple sues Disney after alleged bed bug infestation

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A Dutchess County couple is suing Disney Vacation Development, Inc. after a stay at the Disney Vero Beach Resort in Florida, during which the pair said a bed bug infestation ruined their vacation and caused significant physical and emotional distress in the months that followed.

Allyson L. Masciotti-Hamedl and Kevin Hamedl, of Poughquag, are seeking damages of between $100,000 and $1 million in their lawsuit, which claims Disney failed to “exercise reasonable care and breached its duty” to properly manage, operate and maintain the resort by keeping it free from hazardous conditions.

According to the lawsuit, which was originally filed in Dutchess County Court in June and will be decided in the the Southern District Court of New York, Masciotti-Hamedl awoke during her stay at the resort in September 2016 to “bugs crawling all over the bed, linens, and surrounding walls of her room.”

The couple was told by hotel staff to leave the room and were given accommodations at another Disney property, according to the lawsuit. In the days that followed it was confirmed that the bugs in the room were in fact bed bugs, the couple claims.

In the following days and months, Masciotti-Hamedl missed time from work as she dealt with the painful bites, which she said turned into welts, and limited her ability to execute her job responsibilities, according to the complaint. She claims to have continued difficulty sleeping and suffers anxiety as a result of the infestation, for which she has sought psychiatric treatment. Hamedl also claims to have suffered emotional hardship.

In the lawsuit, the couple alleges the company failed to notify the couple of the infestation, failed to have regular inspections of rooms, and failed to properly sanitize the room in question, among other precautions.

Representatives of the Disney company did not respond to the Journal’s inquiries by deadline.

Abbott Brant: abrant@poughkeepsiejournal.com; 845-437-4809; Twitter: @AbbottBrantPoJo

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