KEY POINTS

  • A mass of bed bugs ruined the on board vacation of a couple who are now suing Princess Cruises for this mishap
  • In their lawsuit, the couple allege they suffered "numerous bites and skin rashes, which caused pain, discomfort, annoyance sleeplessness, inconvenience, humiliation, anxiety and emotional distress"
  • They seek general damages of at least $75,000

Bed bugs are human parasites that feed off human blood. These nocturnal pests, whose bites inflict an itch that might lead to an allergic reaction, are everywhere -- even on cruise ships out to sea.

Princess Cruises was sued by an irate passenger in a California court for an alleged bed bug infestation in their stateroom that left her and her husband riddled with numerous bites from bed bugs that "sucked their blood until they were gorged." The company is a cruise line based in California owned by Carnival Corporation & plc. It's the world's second largest cruise line by net revenue.

The lawsuit was filed at the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California by Connie Flores, who had a small part in Netflix's Oscar-nominated film "Marriage Story" released in 2019. Flores and her husband seek general damages of at least $75,000 on multiple counts under both maritime and California law.

"Unbeknownst to Plaintiffs, the Stateroom was infested with hundreds of bed bugs," said the lawsuit, noted CNN. "The bed bugs latched onto the Plaintiffs while they slept and sucked their blood until they were gorged."

Flores said she and her husband suffered "numerous bites and skin rashes, which caused pain, discomfort, annoyance sleeplessness, inconvenience, humiliation, anxiety and emotional distress."

They accused Princess Cruises of negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and battery, among others. The lawsuit claims Princess Cruises either knew or should have known about the alleged infestation and failed to treat it.

Flores and her husband, Alvin, took a cruise aboard the Emerald Princess from Nov. 29 and Dec. 4, 2018. Their lawsuit is a direct result of this voyage. Video footage taken by Flores and her husband allegedly shows bed bugs crawling on the sheets on their cruise ship bed. Images shared by the law firm representing thec couple allegedly show bed bug bites on the bodies of the couple. 

The couple said they notified the ship's staff about the problem. Intead of assisting them, the "employees and medical staff refused and delayed Plaintiffs' requests and ridiculed Plaintiffs and their injuries," alleges the lawsuit.

Princess Cruises said it was "very sorry" to hear about Flores' allegations. It pointed out its commitment to following and often exceeding stringent sanitation and health guidelines.

"Given that this is an open lawsuit, we are limited in what information we can share right now," said a statement from the company. Princess Cruises said it's worth noting, "our room attendants are highly trained to identify bed bugs and ALL staterooms are thoroughly inspected each month as a preventative measure." The company said its cruise ships rooms are cleaned twice a day.

"It would be highly unusual for the presence of bed bugs to go unnoticed for more than the length of one cruise," said the company.

bed bugs, signs, odor bed bugs, signs, odor Photo: danydory - Pixabay