Reporting John Slattery
NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS) – Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.
That’s what David and Christine Drabicki of Plymouth, Michigan, wish they were told before their stay at the Waldorf Astoria hotel.
“It wreaked havoc on us,” Christine told CBS 2′s John Slattery. “I was being invaded by something; I didn’t know what it really was.”
Drabicki said she and her husband were excited at winning an all-expense paid trip to the Waldorf for a conference in May for Allstate Insurance, the company David works for, in the Big Apple.
“The next morning, we obviously woke up and we had bed bugs,” Drabicki said. “There were marks on both of my arms. I saw blood on the sheets.”
She says her husband didn’t show signs of bites, but she did.
“I would say over 100 or more, total; maybe even 200,” she said.
The couple is filing a lawsuit against the famous hotel, which they claim is responsible for the nightmare they endured when they encountered bedbugs during their stay.
After the couple awakened in the hotel to find the bugs’ bites all over their bodies, the hotel changed their room and gave them complimentary spa treatments, but their problems didn’t end there.
What the Drabickis didn’t know was that their luggage was contaminated with the creepy crawly creatures – meaning even after their return home, they couldn’t get rid of them.
“I discovered a couple days later, my daughter came home and she had bites on her arms,” Drabicki said.
Their home became infested after the Drabickis put their contaminated luggage in their garage upon their return to Michigan. After their children suffered an allergic reaction to the critters and had to be rushed to the emergency room, the family moved out of their home for six weeks so a pest-control company could move in and wipe out the bedbugs.
She says all their clothing was bagged-up and dry-cleaned costing $500. Professional fumigation of the home cost $4,500.
Drabicki’s lawyer says it’s the third bed bug suit against the Waldorf since February. He’s charging negligence.
“When I check into a hotel, whether it’s the Waldorf=Astoria or any other hotel, I have to know that bed, that bed, that hotel room is safe,” attorney Alan Schnurman said.
In a statement, a Hilton Worldwide spokesperson said they found no evidence of bedbugs upon inspection.
“The Waldorf=Astoria takes allegations of bedbugs very seriously as the safety and well-being of our guests is of paramount importance. While we typically do not comment on pending litigation, we can share the following:
The Waldorf=Astoria took the guestroom in question out of service immediately following the guest complaint and had it inspected by an outside specialist. The initial room, and the room the family relocated to, both tested negative by a licensed technician after the guests’ departure. Official inspection reports indicated no evidence or indication of bed bugs. As a precautionary measure, a follow-up inspection of both rooms in June 2010 indicated no evidence of bed bugs.
Records dating back to January 2010 show no record of any complaint or incident in either room prior to the guests’ arrival or subsequent to their departure.”
Drabicki is back for another trip to New York, and she said she was concerned about another hotel stay. Avoiding the Waldorf, she decided to stay at a hotel in Times Square – but only after checking blogs and finding no bed bug complaints.