An Oak Park hotel is suing a couple from Massachusetts over what they say is a false claim that the inn has bedbugs.
When Michael Gladstone and Liora Braun stayed at the Carleton Hotel of Oak Park, 1110 Pleasant, in April, they complained to the hotel manager about having bedbugs in their room. But the manager insisted there were no such problems at the Carleton, and a follow-up inspection from a local pest control company proved that, according to the lawsuit filed June 15 in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
The couple allegedly encountered bedbug problems after returning to their home, blamed the Carleton and followed up by posting a negative review of the hotel on tripadvisor.com, where the couple claimed that the hotel did nothing to address the alleged problem following their April stay.
The Carleton is adamant that it has no bedbug problem, and is seeking damages of more than $30,000 from Gladstone because of the hotel’s “loss of business and loss of reputation.” Two people clicked on the review as being “helpful,” as of the time the lawsuit was filed, and the hotel wonders how many others the “malicious” post has discouraged from staying there.
“At least two, but possibly thousands, of potential customers have been dissuaded by the review posted by the defendant,” the complaint states. “Nearly every day [the] Carleton hears comments from people who have read the review.”
Mike Fox, the owner of the hotel, declined to comment last week, and a call to his attorney was not returned Monday. Gladstone and Braun did not return a call to their Massachusetts residence on Monday.
Oak Park-based Brennan’s Pest Control inspected the hotel on May 6 and found no signs of bedbugs, according to a report attached to the lawsuit. Chris Brennan, owner and operator of the company, confirmed that he inspected the hotel. They also did work at the hotel to prevent bedbugs prior to the alleged incident in April.
“Their insistence that they got them from the Carleton has no basis,” Brennan said.