Excited members of a Northern California family looking forward to their 2014 trip to the “happiest place on earth” were bitten by bed bugs during their stay at the pricey Disney Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, according to a lawsuit.
The hotel’s website indicates room rates generally start at about $400 per night, but a check of that website for this weekend showed the least expensive available lodging would be $602 per night plus taxes and fees.
Joseph and Danielle Jones filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday on behalf of themselves and their three daughters. The suit alleges battery, negligence, fraudulent concealment, nuisance and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The family seeks unspecified damages. A representative did not immediately reply to an email sent today seeking comment.
According to the complaint, the hotel already had a history of complaints by guests about bed bugs when the Joneses drove more than 350 miles from their San Leandro home to Anaheim to give their three daughters, then ages 4, 9 and 16, “a magical Disney summer” with a trip to the theme park in August 2014.
But instead of being able to enjoy the visit, problems began when the Jones’ 9-year-old daughter started complaining about itchy, painful bites on her face, according to the lawsuit.
“By the next day, the entire Jones family had insect bites on their bodies,” the suit alleges.
The Joneses told the staff at the front desk about the bites, but employees there referred the family to the hotel’s housekeeping department, the suit states.
“The housekeeping manager suggested the family’s bites were probably mosquito bites, dismissing their concerns that they could have been bed bugs,” the suit states.
The condition of each family member worsened and doctors at an Oakland hospital confirmed that the bites indeed came from bed bugs, the suit states.
After returning home, the Jones family “threw out all the clothing and luggage that was exposed to the bed bugs at Disney’s Grand,” the suit states.
The Joneses have suffered physical injuries as well as emotional distress, and their youngest daughter has permanent scarring, according to the complaint.
In 2013, Grand Californian guests posted two separate website reports of being bitten by bed bugs while staying at the hotel, the suit states.
—City News Service