Can a hotel be held responsible for fraud if they don’t tell a guest about prior bed bug attacks at the hotel?
If a hotel is aware that they had a bed bug problem in their hotel and they place a guest in an infested room, then the hotel could be held liable under a legal theory known as fraudulent concealment. The requirements for a claim of fraudulent concealment are different depending on the state the bed bug infestation occurred in. In general, the elements for a fraudulent concealment claim are a misrepresentation or omission of a material fact; knowledge of the representor (the hotel or motel) of the misrepresentation or representation made by the representor without knowledge as to either the truth or falsity, or representations made under circumstances in which the representor ought to have known, if the representor did not know, of the falsity; an intention the representor induced another to act on; and resulting in injury to the person acting in justifiable reliance on the representation. Courts in multiple states, have ruled that the failure to either warn guests or to take effective measures to eliminate the bedbugs is fraud.