Eminent domain is one of the harshest tools government can assert to curtail property rights. Zoning regulates how a property owner may use their property, but eminent domain goes to their right to own the property itself. Traditionally victorious, the government occasionally is overzealous in its application of the doctrine against property owners. Recently, the Chicago Tribune wrote about a victory for property owners against a forfeiture action brought by the US government. The case involves a family owned motel in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.
BED BUG LAWSUIT AGAINST MARRIOTT
The Chicago Tribune reports that two mothers of children staying at two different Marriott hotels were bitten by bedbugs during recent stays. The lawsuit filed recently alleges that when the guests stayed at the hotel they slept on the beds and bedding provided by the hotel and awoke to bumps and bites all over her their “arms, hands, back, legs and scalp.” They were diagnosed as bedbug bites.
As the operator of a hotel, Marriott and its management owes their guests special duties, much like common carriers such as Amtrak. This special duty is a relic from early Anglo-law aimed at ensuring safety for travelers. Marriott, the lawsuit alleges, breached this special duty to its guests when it failed to provide guests with sanitary rooms, failed to inspect and exterminate rooms, and failed to recognize the signs of bed bug attacks.
Rishi Nair owns Nair Law LLC and practices as Of Counsel at Keener and Associates, P.C.