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Bedbug Infestation at Midtown Grand Hyatt Made Woman Homeless, Lawsuit Says

By Noah Hurowitz | October 3, 2016 5:01pm
 A guest at the Grand Hyatt in Midtown says she got bedbugs during a stay there and ended up homeless.
A guest at the Grand Hyatt in Midtown says she got bedbugs during a stay there and ended up homeless.
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DNAinfo/Anton Nilsson

MIDTOWN — A bad case of bedbugs contracted at Midtown's Grand Hyatt New York in Midtown caused a woman’s life to spiral into a series of allergic reactions and homelessness, according to a new lawsuit.

Madonna Ramp developed a severe sensitivity to chemicals and ended up living out of a car after she brought bedbugs back to her home in Texas following a stay at the Hyatt, next to Grand Central Terminal, in 2013, according to the suit filed on Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court.

“She has been forced to sleep in vehicles, coffee shops, outdoors, on floors and compelled to find alternative housing such as staying at hotels with ‘clean rooms’ on an extended basis as they are cleaned with fewer chemicals,” Ramp’s lawyer, Effie Solter, writes in the complaint.

The lawsuit said they were places where she could avoid chemicals that treatment for the bedbugs had made her extremely sensitive to.

Ramp’s troubles began on Oct. 5, 2013, when she stayed at the Hyatt for about three days, the complaint says. During her stay bedbugs bit her repeatedly, leaving red welts all over her body.

Ramp unwittingly brought bedbugs back to her home in Austin, Texas, where she continued to suffer bites and eventually needed to have her house and car heat-treated and fumigated to get rid of the bugs, the suit says.

But she reacted so badly to insecticide treatment that she had to seek medical attention, and eventually developed a condition called mast cell activation syndrome, the complaint says.

It can involve symptoms including nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramping and nasal congestion and which can be triggered by fragrances and household chemicals, according to one medical paper.

Ramp, who is seeking unspecified damages from the hotel, said she told employees of the Hyatt about the bedbug infestation in her room but she received no help.

Hotel representatives did not respond to a request for comment from DNAinfo, but John Schafer, the hotel’s general manager, told the New York Post that guests have nothing to worry about.

“Grand Hyatt New York maintains regular inspections and we pride ourselves on keeping colleagues equipped with the knowledge, training and tools needed to identify and address any issues,” Schafer told the Post, which first reported the lawsuit.