bed bugs
A Brazilian model has filed a lawsuit claiming bed bugs at a California hotel caused her to have a severe allergic reaction. Bed bugs are pictured inside of a jar on Sept. 22, 2010 in Rosemont, Illinois. Brian Kersey/Getty Images

A Brazilian model has filed a lawsuit against a California hotel with her attorney claiming she was "massacred" by bed bugs during her stay.

Sabrina Jales St. Pierre, in a lawsuit filed in Riverside County Superior Court this month, claims she sustained bed bugs bites during her 2016 stay at Palm Desert Embassy Suites. An attorney for Jales St. Pierre, who has appeared in advertisements for companies such as Valentino and Victoria’s Secret, says that the bites affected her modeling career.

"Sabrina started noticing the bed bug bites after her first night in the hotel, and eventually she was massacred by bites covering pretty much her entire body," her attorney, Brian Virag, told the Palm Springs Desert Sun.

Pictures appear to show large red bumps covering the model’s shoulder, back, and legs. She is seeking monetary and punitive damages against the hotel and its parent company, Hilton Worldwide, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"Like most victims of bed bugs, Sabrina also had nightmares about the experience, and she still experiences psychological trauma and fear of bed bugs today," Virag told the Palm Springs Desert Sun.

"This was especially traumatic for Sabrina because her body is her work, so this severely affected her work and her career. She had to continue working during the hotel stay, but the bite marks all over her body made her feel embarrassed, ashamed and humiliated."

Carlos Mendoza, general manager of Embassy Suites in Palm Desert, disputes the model’s allegations, saying that the hotel never found evidence of bed bugs inside the building.

According to Mendoza, the hotel’s chief engineer and house-keeping manager did a sweep of the room the day the alleged incident occurred and that the hotel also called in pest control for a second investigation of the room.

"We did all the proper protocols and found no evidence," he said. "Now we have to go through the lawsuit to defend the reputation of the hotel."

Virag, who has sued several hotels, apartment owners, and others over bedbug bites, says that cases like Jales St. Pierre’s deserve justice because guests trust hotels to provide a safe environment.

"This really is an epidemic problem with hotel rooms," Virag said. "You have an expectation that you’re going to be safe at a hotel, so when bed bugs infiltrate that space, it’s like a betrayal of trust."