Download PDF

News & Events

Arizona Partner Obtains Jury Verdict in Bedbug Lawsuit Against Client

In a four-day jury trial in Pima County Superior Court, Phoenix Office partner, Tico A. Glavas, successfully defended our hotel client against Plaintiff’s claims of being “eaten up” by bedbugs while staying at our client’s Tucson, Arizona property.

In June 2021, the Plaintiff was visiting Tucson from abroad to see his elderly father. Plaintiff booked a five-night stay at our client’s hotel and claims to have been bitten all over his body during his stay, evidenced by graphic photographs of the alleged bug bites and the expert opinion testimony of an entomologist. Plaintiff further claimed he was so traumatized by the bites that he was unable to properly say goodbye to his father before returning to Plaintiff’s residence abroad.

Tico’s cross-examination of Plaintiff’s entomologist expert witness raised serious doubt about whether bedbugs were present in the hotel. In response to Plaintiff counsel’s tactics, Tico made a fact-based closing argument, attacking the opposing expert’s opinions about the presence of bedbugs and Plaintiff’s overstated damages, a closing the Judge described as the turning point for the defense.

Despite the photographic evidence and expert opinions, the jury found in favor of the Plaintiff only on his premises liability claim and awarded Plaintiff less than one percent of the total amount requested in closing argument. The jury found in our client’s favor and against Plaintiff’s claims for breach of contract and violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, which could have exposed our client to punitive damages and attorneys’ fees in excess of $300,000. At a prior mediation, our client’s insurer had offered an amount well in excess of the eventual jury verdict.

Particularly significant is that this case was the very first lawsuit that our client’s insurer has ever taken to jury trial in the State of Arizona, and is one of the first bedbug lawsuits to go to verdict in Arizona.

Tico defends the Firm’s clients in matters involving personal injury, construction defects, products liability, premises liability and insurance coverage. He also represents a wide range of small businesses, including contractors, tradesmen, manufacturers, distributors, livery companies, and financial institutions in actions involving personal injuries or property damage.