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Lawsuit: Bedbugs Cost H-F Coach Her Dreadlocks

It took Donna Brumfield more than a decade to grow her waist-long dreadlocks, which she had to chop off after a run-in with bedbugs at a hotel. She's suing the hotel for $50,000.

A coach at Homewood-Flossmoor High School says she was forced to cut off her dreadlocks after the bedbugs bit at a Palatine hotel in October 2012—and she wants the hotel to pay.

Assistant tennis coach Donna Brumfield had to do away with the 'locks that took her 13 years to grow, due to the unwelcome guests at Holiday Inn Express, 1550 E. Dundee Rd., Sun-Times Media reports. The personal injury lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court seeks $50,000 in damages. 

"If you know how long it takes to grow dreadlocks, you understand the trauma of losing my hair," Brumfield told reporters.

The lawsuit claims that while staying at the hotel for a tennis meet nearby, Brumfield watched as exterminators inspected her hotel room after bedbugs were found in an adjacent room. She was relocated to another room but the bugs had already left their mark: "red bumps extended from her hands and arms to her shoulders and neck," the lawsuit alleges. The bugs bite at night, leaving behind itchy red welts in a straight-line pattern.

Pest control company Orkin recently ranked Chicago the worst city for bed bugs. Orkin bases its list on the number of bed bug treatments it performed in 2013. Chicago was joined in the unfortunate Top 10 list by, in reverse order: Indianapolis, Denver, Washington, D.C., Dayton, Cleveland/Akron/Canton, Cincinnati, Detroit, Columbus and at No. 2, Los Angeles.

The ordeal has not exactly left Brumfield itching to travel again.

"I’ve traveled to foreign countries and never had anything like this happen. Here at a nice hotel in the northwest suburbs? That was the most shocking thing for me," she told reporters.

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hometown February 10, 2014 at 08:00 AM
I should be amazed at the level of ignorance, but I'm not given the base of respondents. Why are people overly concerned about whether her claim has merit, you wish it had be you instead? Unless you are this person you have absolutely no valid info other than what's reported to support your uneducated opinion. Nobody here can make a determination as ti the extent of what she went thru, also even if it happened to you, each experience is.different. To.those.who feel the.need to insult and belittle this woman...you are.cowards plain and simple who are so.sacred of their own shadows they sit and wait on these message boards to just be negtive all.the.time. your lives must be depressing and sad.....truth hurt.much
oswego resident February 10, 2014 at 02:36 PM
Hey Hometown, speaking of uneducated.Did you read your own post?
hometown February 10, 2014 at 04:38 PM
@oswego. apparently you did since you felt lt applied to you. The fact that I wrote it should imply that I read it......the fact that you responded the way you did, just reinforces my post. Anything else I can help you with?
WonkaChoc February 20, 2014 at 09:24 AM
Oh my - I'm not sure why anyone thinks that people with dreads don't wash their hair - MYTH The Chicagoland area is known across the country for its bedbug infestation. On 1/16/14 the Chicago Tribune reported that Chicago leads in bedbugs for the 2nd consecutive year! http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-01-16/business/chi-chicago-bed-bugs-20140116_1_orkin-2nd-consecutive-year-bedbug
Jon Azavedo February 20, 2014 at 01:23 PM
I heard on the radio that these were crabs, no bedbugs.

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