Tenants at Park La Brea Apartments win $3.5M bedbug suit

Owners knew about infestation for years

Aerial shot of Park La Brea (Credit: Wikipedia)
Aerial shot of Park La Brea (Credit: Wikipedia)

A group of residents at the Park La Brea Apartments won a $3.5 million lawsuit against the massive complex’s owners over a yearslong bedbug infestation.

The 16 current and former tenants lived in eight units at Park La Brea — the largest housing development west of the Mississippi River, with 4,255 units — and raised concerns about the bloodsuckers between 2011 and 2013, according to the Los Angeles Times. Their lawyer said the complex’s owners had known about the infestation since 2008 and didn’t tell the tenants when they moved in.

The medical costs to treat the tenants was only around $2,200, but the Superior Court jury awarded between $44,000 and $580,000 each for the “sleeplessness, the anxiety, and humiliation they endured at work,” said residents’ attorney, Brian Virag. The jury deliberated for five days before announcing its decision.

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In January, national pest-control company Orkin rated Los Angeles the sixth worst city in the country for bedbugs on its annual “Top 50 Bed Bug Cities” list, marking an improvement over its No. 2 designation the year before.

Park La Brea Apartments has dealt with other troubling issues at the complex, including a reported cockroach infestation.  [LAT] — Dennis Lynch