Md. Woman Awarded $800K Over Bedbug Infestation

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    A Maryland woman was awarded $800,000 after living in a bedbug-infested apartment for eight months.

    A woman who lived for more than eight months in a bedbug-infested apartment in Annapolis has been awarded $800,000 -- twice what she had sought -- after her lawyer said landlord repeatedly failed to correct the problem and evicted her.

    An Anne Arundel County jury deliberated 45 minutes on Wednesday before making the award to Faika Shaaban. She rented an apartment in a house owned by Cornelius J. Barrett.

    Shaaban's lawyer, Daniel Whitney, told The Capital of Annapolis that the jury sent a message with the award.

    He said that when Shaaban, 66, rented the apartment in September 2011, there was an open code violation for a bed bug infestation, but Barrett did not reveal that information.

    Whitney said when his client moved into the apartment the next month, she developed a rash that was eventually diagnosed as bedbug bites. "Every night, blood-sucking parasites would come into her bed and feed upon her,'' Whitney said.

    The lawyer said a neighbor had reported the infestation to Barrett, who did nothing. Whitney also said the city found Barrett in violation and ordered to hire a licensed, professional pest control contractor to eradicate. Barrett failed to comply, he said.

    Whitney says Shaaban was evicted in June 2012 and all her bedbug-infested belongings were thrown out on the street. Some items were stolen -- meaning the thieves probably got more than they bargained for.

    The Capital says Barrett did not answer repeated calls to his home seeking comment.