Town of Somers v. Demers
Bedbug infestations can make the premises uninhabitable and violate health and housing codes, pursuant to Superior Court Judge Robert Gilligan's 2009 decision, Lewis v. 525-527 Main St. EH LLC. The Town of Somers sued Marie Demers, alleging that she owned property that was infested by bedbugs and was uninhabitable. Connecticut General Statutes §19a-206 provides, "Any owner or occupant of any property who maintains such property, whether real or personal, or any part thereof, in a manner which violates the provisions of the Public Health Code enacted pursuant to the authority of sections 19a-36 and 19a-37 shall be deemed to be maintaining a nuisance or source of filth injurious to the public health." The court found that the municipality proved that Demers has a 15-room "privately-owned rooming house" that "constitutes a nuisance and source of filth injurious to the public health." The court ordered Demers to refrain from renting vacant rooms until she abates the alleged bedbug infestation and removes infested furniture, mattresses and bedding. The court ordered other defendants to cooperate with the exterminator, to dispose of garbage and to remove infested clothing and furniture. Failure to comply may constitute contempt of court and result in fines or incarceration. Health officials, added the court, "may pursue any other lawful means to abate this nuisance as set forth under §19a-206 or to enforce this injunction."