Legal Business Review, Staff Writer
April 18, 2012
CASE: Keefe v. St. Augustine Hotel and Inn
Plaintiff Attorneys: Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A., David W. Lipcon
Facts and Allegations: Bed Bug Attack. Mrs. Keefe and her family were guests at the St. Augistine Hotel and Inn, in St. Augustine Florida, on July 21, 2011. They were vacationing to celebrate a family engagement. Some time during the night, Mrs. Keefe was attacked by a swarm of bed bugs that were infesting the mattress and sheets that she was sleeping on. When she awoke, she was in extreme pain and discomfort. Her body was covered with bites, from head to toe. Her face was swollen and disfigured. She sought immediate medical attention.
When the issue was brought up to the hotel, they denied that there were bugs infesting the room. They did, however, offer to take ten percent (10%) off of her bill! They did not offer to pay her medical bills or even refund her, in full, for her stay.
The family hired the law firm of Lipcon & Lipcon, P.A. Although the firm is located in Miami, they specialize in Personal Injury Litigation throughout the state of Florida. Attorney David Lipcon reacted quickly by sending a team of investigators to the hotel. Negotiations with the hotels insurer began. After a few short weeks, the case was resolved. While the terms of the financial settlement remain confidential, the family reports that they were extremely satisfied with the compensation, which included amounts for pain and suffering as well as emotional distress. Further, as a condition of the settlement, the hotel agreed to completely sanitize the entire property and implement a protocol of monitoring and sanitizing the hotel in case of future infestations.
At first the insurance company was resistant to negotiate a settlement. However, Mr. Lipcon persisted. Based on his reputation of going to court and receiving favorable verdicts, the insurer, and the hotel, felt it was in their best interest to settle with the family.
Result: Settled Before Trial