An Annapolis woman who was forced to live for over eight months in a bedbug-infested apartment has been awarded $800,000 due to the fact that her landlord failed to get rid of the infestation.
An Anne Arundel County jury awarded the sum to Faika Shaaban after deliberating for 45 minutes. She had been renting an apartment in a home owned by Cornelius Barrett.
The award was double what Shaaban had been seeking.
Daniel Whitney, Shaaban’s attorney, said that the jury was sending a message with their decision.
Shaaban, 66, rented the apartment in September 2011. There had reportedly been an open code violation for a bedbug infestation, but Barrett didn’t reveal that to her at the time.
Shortly after Shaaban moved into the apartment, she developed a rash that was diagnosed as bedbug bites.
“Every night, blood-sucking parasites would come into her bed and feed upon her,” Whitney said.
The lawyer said that a neighbor had reported the issue to Barrett, who did nothing about it.
Whitney added that the city had found Barrett in violation and ordered him to hire a licensed, professional pest control contractor to eradicate the infestation. Barrett failed to comply.