* Family says bedbugs carried to Michigan in luggage
* Waldorf says room tested negative for the pests
By Bernd Debusmann Jr.
NEW YORK, Nov 4 (Reuters) - A Michigan woman filed suit against New York’s Waldorf-Astoria on Thursday, saying she and her husband became infected with bedbugs during a stay at the famed hotel.
Christine Drabicki says she and her husband, David, carried the bedbugs home to Plymouth, Michigan, where they infected their two daughters, one of whom suffered an allergic reaction, according to the lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court.
New York has been hard hit by bedbugs. The United Nations, the Harlem office of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, several retail stores and a movie theater have suffered outbreaks of the infestation.
The Drabickis stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria from May 24-27, and noticed bedbug bites after the first night, Drabicki said. The hotel moved them to another room but did not tell them their luggage might be infested as well, she said at a news conference on Thursday.
The family had to vacate their home for six weeks while the house was exterminated for about $4,500. Also, about 1,000 pounds (450 kg) of clothing had to be disinfected, and much of it was discarded, she said.
“It wreaked havoc on us,” she said.
The family is seeking an unspecified amount as “reasonable compensation” and seeking money for their emotional distress, according to Alan Schnurman, Drabicki’s attorney.
The Waldorf is part of the Hilton Worldwide chain, and a Hilton Worldwide spokesman said in a statement that the room had tested negative for bedbugs.
“The initial room, and the room the family relocated to, both tested negative,” the statement said. “Official inspection reports indicated no evidence or indication of bedbugs.”
“The Waldorf-Astoria takes allegations of bedbugs very seriously as the safety and well-being of our guests is of paramount importance,” it said. (Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Eric Beech)