Condo owner sued over proliferation of bed bugs

Kyle Barnett Nov. 28, 2012, 1:28am

GRETNA – A condominium owner is being sued by his condominium association for spreading bugs due to his alleged hoarding.

Metairie Towers Condominium Association, Inc. filed suit against Charles W. Crutcher and State Farm and Casualty Company in the 24th Judicial District Court on Oct. 12.

Metairie Towers Condominium Association claims that Crutcher owns a condominium in a building located at 401 Metairie Road in Metairie.

The plaintiff alleges that the defendant lived in the condo unit for several years prior to November 2011 and that in that month managers at the property noticed bugs on materials the defendant was cleaning out of his unit due to complaints of hoarding. Metairie Towers Condominium Association asserts that the property manager immediately visited Crutcher's unit and found that bugs were crawling everywhere.

After finding the bugs in the defendant's unit the plaintiff claims it had two pest control companies inspect the premises and found an extreme infestation that had spread into common areas of the building. The lawsuit claims that on a second inspection in February 2012, bed bugs were found again in Crutcher's unit and reports of the bugs were made in other units and in common areas. The condo association asserts it used heat treatment in the building in an attempt to eradicate the bugs.

The defendant is accused of carelessly and negligently failing to clean the condo, carelessly and negligently failing to inspect the condo, carelessly and negligently failing to utilize proper pest control techniques, carelessly and negligently failing to schedule proper pest control techniques and services, not monitoring the condo, failing to comply with obligations pursuant to rules and regulations of the condo association, failing to warn the condo association of the infestation, violating health codes and failing to remove and eradicate the bugs from the unit.

Damages in the amount of $200,857.12 for pest control services, plus 12 percent interest and attorney's fees.

Metairie Towers Condominium Association, Inc. is represented by A. Scot Tillery of Metairie-based Tillery & Tillery.

The case has been assigned to Division K Judge Ellen S. Kovach.

Case no. 719-999.

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