A furniture store wants me to sign a settlement and release agreement in exchange for bed bug extermination treatment. Should I do it? Is it fair?
Question: I have bed bugs from new furniture I purchased. We bought a bed frame, mattress and box spring from a furniture store a month ago. Within two weeks of delivery, I started to notice bites on my body. At first, I did not know what caused the bites. It turns out it was bed bugs. I called the store I bought the bed frame, mattress and box spring and told them I have bed bugs. They sent someone out to my apartment that confirmed it was bed bugs. The furniture store wants me to sign a settlement and release agreement in exchange for only bed bug extermination treatment at my home by Orkin. Should my husband and I sign it? Is this fair?
Answer: NO and NO. You should never sign any legal document unless you first have it reviewed by an experienced attorney. Since I have not had the opportunity to review the settlement and release agreement it is impossible for me to explain the terms of the agreement to you. A settlement and release agreement, also known as a waiver, is a written contract between two parties whereby the Releasor (injured party) releases the Releasee (the negligent party). The release of claims lays out an agreement between the Releasor and Releasee that in return for certain forms of compensation or services the Realeasor agrees not to sue the Releasee. From a legal standpoint, the Realeasor agrees to release the Releasee from all claims of injury or damage by signing the release.
An example will help explain the above paragraph. Let’s say Furniture store A offers $15,000.00 for your pain and suffering, $300.00 for medical expenses and agrees to pay Exterminator ABC for two bed-bug treatments to your home as full and final release to resolve all claims, complaints and causes of action of any kind what so ever that you may have against Furniture store A whether known or unknown at this time or in the future. You are happy with this and agree to accept.
In essence, by signing the settlement and release agreement, you are saying: Furniture store A, I am willing to let you off the hook FOREVER in exchange for $15,000.00 for my pain and suffering, $300.00 for my medical expenses and two bed-bug treatments performed by Exterminator ABC. Let’s say the bed bugs come back and your home requires more treatment by an exterminator or you need to go back to the doctor for medical treatment. If this happens you have no chance of collecting more money from Furniture store A. The settlement and release agreement bars you from seeking any more money from Furniture store A because it is full and final.
On multiple occasions, potential clients have contacted us requesting that we represent them on their bed bug claim against a particular furniture store after they have signed a settlement and release agreement. Unfortunately, once they signed the release there is nothing we can do for them and must decline representation. These potential clients lose out on recovering the full value of their claim by signing the release without the assistance of a bed bug lawyer. Don’t make the same mistake.
Contact a lawyer immediately to go over all of your available options for compensation. Our bed bug attorneys have handled cases against new, used and rental furniture stores across the country. We have been successful in obtaining compensation for our clients for the following due to furniture being delivered with bed bugs:
- Reimbursement for the cost of extermination services provided by a professional extermination company
- Reimbursement for discarded property such as furniture, carpets, clothing and other household items that are destroyed due to bed bugs
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- The cost of past and future medical treatment or care
- Reimbursement for time missed from work
- Repayment for reasonable out of pocket expenses associated with the infestation
- Reimbursement for prescriptions
If you sign the settlement and release agreement in its current form you are forever limiting yourself to receiving compensation for only extermination services and no other form of payment for your injuries, expenses and damages.
Under no circumstance should you sign a settlement and release agreement without first contacting a bed bug attorney. If bed bugs have infested your home due to no fault of your own contact us immediately. We will fight to protect your rights no matter how big or small the claim may be. Call or email us now for a free consultation.