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Barry Reagan Obtains Defense Verdict in Los Angeles County Bedbug Case

Slaughter & Reagan, LLP partner Barry Reagan and associate Michael Lebow successfully obtained a complete defense jury verdict in a bedbug infestation trial in the Los Angeles Superior Court in Pasadena. The three plaintiffs sued their landlords for personal injury, property and emotional distress damages claiming that their apartment unit was uninhabitable as the result of a pervasive bedbug infestation. They claimed that they suffered from extensive bites, allergic reactions, scaring and post-traumatic stress disorder. Plaintiffs claimed that the infestation predated their occupancy, that the landlords failed to adequately inspect the unit, that the landlords failed to properly maintain the unit and that the landlords did not take adequate steps to correct the infestation once it was discovered. Further, plaintiffs claimed that they were evicted in retaliation for their complaints. Plaintiffs' Complaint contained causes of action for 1) Breach of the Warranty of Habitability; 2) Negligence - Premises Liability; 3) Nuisance; 4) Retaliatory or Constructive Eviction; 5) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; 6) Breach of Contract; and 7) Breach of the Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment.

Plaintiffs submitted Section 998 settlement offers totaling $220,000.00. The matter proceeded to trial. At trial, plaintiffs requested a total of $2.3 million in damages. Mr. Reagan successfully had plaintiffs' retained psychological expert disqualified and his testimony stricken by the Court. Mr. Reagan also successfully moved for a nonsuit as to two of plaintiffs' causes of action at the close of plaintiffs' case in chief. After a five-day jury trial, the jury returned a complete verdict in favor of defendants, awarding the plaintiffs nothing.