Hotels offer many amenities, but being eaten by bedbugs should not be one of them, say two Swiss women suing a prominent Manhattan hotel.
The women, in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday, want the Hotel Pennsylvania and its owners to pay unspecified damages due to physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress and lost earnings.
They say they were repeatedly bitten by the insects while spending a week in the hotel, one of the city's largest and located across from Madison Square Garden.
"The marks started off smaller, and they got bigger," said their attorney Adam Sattler. "The reaction on one was horrible -- very deep, maroon-to-red marks, like a lesion eating from the outside in."
Bedbugs are wingless, reddish-brown insects, about one-quarter of an inch (6 mm) long when fully grown. They eat human blood and commonly hide in narrow cracks and crevices, beds, mattresses and furniture.
A representative for the hotel did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
According to the lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court, Ksenija Knezevic of Zurich and Marlies Barisic of Kreuzlingen became "sick, sore, lame and disabled" from the bites.
The attorney said the women were treated at a local hospital, which the hotel paid for, but needed further treatment after returning home. He also said they did not realize the gravity of the problem until late in their stay.
"The initial reaction from the hotel checkout clerk, before our clients said anything, was, 'You don't have to speak. Bedbugs,'" Sattler said. "It tells us the hotel was on notice of this."
The defendants include the hotel, Vornado Realty Trust, 401 Hotel Management Co. and 401 Hotel TRS Inc.