Boone County, MO jury returns defense verdict against plaintiffs’ claims of an alleged bedbug infestation in duplex unit12/09/2014
Following a three day jury trial, a Boone County, Missouri jury rejected plaintiffs Donald and Jessica Weaver’s claims for negligence and breach of implied warranty of habitability against a landlord and its property management company and manager for an alleged bedbug infestation in their duplex unit. Plaintiffs claimed their unit rented from January to July 2010 was infested with bedbugs as a result of a prior alleged infestation from a neighboring unit. Plaintiffs alleged that their two minor children suffered multiple bedbug bites, that they incurred personal property damages, demanded repayment of all rent paid during their tenancy, and that they suffered severe emotional trauma as a result of the alleged incident. Defendants demonstrated that the alleged infestation did not exist at the time plaintiffs moved into their unit and was potentially caused from another outside source other than the neighboring unit. At the end of trial, the jury awarded plaintiffs just $344.06, which was a portion of plaintiffs’ security deposit that was withheld by defendants for repainting. Our firm represented the landlord’s property management company, At Home Rentals, LLC, and its individual manager, Claire James, and the case was tried by Christopher A. Brackman on behalf of these defendants.