If one tenant in an apartment brings in bed-bugs (and that can be proven), and they spread throughout the building, and the other tenants have to vacate their apartments to be fumigated, or whatever various treatments may be necessary, is there any liability for the one who brought them in to compensate for costs and inconveniences?

  • 1
    Do you have any reason to think he wouldn't be liable?
    – Double AA
    Aug 21 '14 at 12:51
  • @DoubleAA If he didn't do anything negligent, perhaps his not responsible just like some shomrim aren't responsible for ruach sheino metzyo
    – user613
    Aug 21 '14 at 13:22
  • @user3949142 - Please explain the shomrim rule you mentioned in the above comment. Offhand, I'm inclined to think, no, there is no liability, unless you can prove intention to harm. In a sense, bedbugs is like a hidden contagious disease. Say someone has this disease brewing. He walks around the hallway shaking hands with others, so the germs spread. A week later he's sick, and a week after that, others have same sickness, and they can prove they got it from the 1st tenant. I don't think he's liable then, b/c how can he be negligent for something he didn't know about? Similar here.
    – DanF
    Aug 21 '14 at 16:22
  • @DanF For the 4 shomrim (if someone watches over something for free, if he's paid, a renter and a borrower) if something happens to the pikadon (the item they're watching), they are liable for different things, but one thing they're all liable for is peshia, negligence. But if it was an אונס, beyond you're control, for example, if you're watching a sheep, and a normal wind blows the fence (which wasn't a weak fence) and it escapes, or there was an unexpected hurricane, he's not liable unless he's a borrower.
    – user613
    Aug 21 '14 at 20:40
  • @user3949142 - OK, got it. As I mentioned in my comment, in this case, I don't think that a tenant bringing in bed bugs is negligent unless you can prove that he knew about their presence at the time he rented. Sounds unlikely, though. Most people don't want bedbugs in their own apt. so intentionally importing them sounds like a meshugah, who may also be exempt b/c he is a meshugah! Then again, the landlord might also have been meshugah renting to a known meshugah :-)
    – DanF
    Aug 21 '14 at 20:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .