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William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 4097
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.
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Customer Question

Purchased mattress and boxsprings from local furniture store on 08/30/2013 sold as new.
Purchased a 7 pc bedding set 09/01/13 from Walmart.
First time I slept on this was on 09/02. Was waking with small red bites on arms and legs. Mentioned to my son two day later (Moved into new home) I had no furniture due to major loss by fire to previous home. Son checked my bed and the new bedding IT WAS INFESTED WITH BUGS. We took all from bed and I washed the bedding and put in plastic bags. Still being bitten. Called Clarks Pest Control he inspected the mattress and the box springs
diagnosed as severe infestation of BED BUGS. The box springs after pulling back it showed an original edging material and the wood as being around 30 years or more old. The tags showed as "SECONDHAND (USED) PRODUCT) HAS BEEN SANITIZED BY iMPERIAL mATTRESS SPM INC SACRAMENTO. CA. JUST TO TREAT MY BEDROOM ALONE WILL COST $1000.00. INTERIM MY SON AND I HAVE WRAPPED THE ENTIRE BED IN COMMERCIAL SARAN WRAP AND HAVING BEEN SPRAYING. ADVISE?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 1 year ago.

William B. Esq. :

Thank you for using our service. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would like to assist you today.

William B. Esq. :

The mattress store is not just responsible for refunding your money, they have engaged in fraud (stated something that they knew was false (this was not a new set), so that you would rely on it in making your purchase, and then suffered an injury due to it.

William B. Esq. :

The local store is responsible for 100% of your damages (compensatory - both your property, and your person), plus punitive damages (penalties for its wrongful conduct).

William B. Esq. :

In addition, the mattress sterilization company may be liable to you for negligence in their sterilization process, but you must prove that the bed bug infestation occurred prior to the sterilization and not afterwards.

William B. Esq. :

You can add additional causes of action onto the fraud claim when you sue the local store, including breach of contract, negligence, unintentional misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unintentional infliction of emotional distress, and common counts. But the primary ones are (1) Fraud; and (2) Breach of Contract.

William B. Esq. :

(Include California Unfair Business Practices as well).

Customer :

Thank you as I cannot use a regular phone, hearing aids. So what can I do? I have delayed in confronting the owner because I needed more data. On the form that was attached to the mattress it states Secondhand (used) Product has been sanitized by Imperial Mattress SPM. INC How can I prove that. What I did do was contact my Real Estate Agent and he contacted the previous owner who had a tenant living here till it was sold and they state that while he lived here he did not have any problems with bed bugs as he had an inflatable mattress in my bedroom, the bed bugs would have eaten him alive, that is how infested it was till we wrapped the entire bed in saran wrap. But I am still get bites, such as 3 night before and most the rugs are infested as well. What now? Remove the bed? to where?

William B. Esq. :

I cannot give you a specific course of action through this website, but you do have some options: (1) you can send a demand letter to the mattress store that they take care of the matter to your satisfaction (I do not know what you want, do you just want the mattress removed, a new mattress in its place, and the bed bugs eradicated? or some other relief); (2) you can pay to remedy the problem and keep track of the expenses to recover them later; or (3) you can simply file a lawsuit. (One other option you may want to use is the Better Business Bureau (The BBB has many low cost or free dispute resolution forums for consumers to use).

Customer :

Sorry missed the last part, I defintely some legal action taken as )am thinking) I want a lawsuit as am angry for being defrauded and angry that this is allowed by the State. Like being sold a already chewed hamburger. I have never seen so many ugly bugs in one area and they are feasting on me.

William B. Esq. :

You can try locating a plaintiff's litigation attorney they may be able to take on your case on a contingency fee basis given the nature of this matter and potential for punitive damages (they will be taking a risk, so I do not know if an attorney is going to want to take it on on a contingency), but you can absolutely file a lawsuit yourself in small claims court.

William B. Esq. :

Unfortunately, I am not permitted to give specific referrals on this forum. I can however give you a couple of sites that will be helpful in locating a local attorney. You can find attorneys on your State Bar Association’s website: (http://www.calbar.ca.gov/); Martindale Hubble: (http://www.martindale.com/); or, on AVVO: (http://www.avvo.com/find-a-lawyer).



To keep costs down, I recommend finding an attorney that is working in a small firm or as a solo practitioner. A newer attorney usually charges slightly less than a more experienced attorney, while the more experienced attorneys are usually a little more efficient. In the end, you need to find an attorney that you feel comfortable with, and it is okay to speak with more than one before retaining one.

William B. Esq. :

I hope the above is helpful, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to let me know and I will follow up quickly.


Thank you for using our service, please do not forget to rate my answer when you are satisfied. I am going to transfer our conversation to the "Q&A" format to ensure you can review the entire response and that I can follow up to any questions you may have quickly. I do wish you the best of luck in this matter.

William B. Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4097
Experience: I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.
William B. Esq. and 10 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Am satisfied with your response as it gave the options that I needed to know as to what actions that I can take immediately. Thank you.

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William B. Esq.
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I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.