This is why we really need the New York Sun. Without them, who would tell us that Bedbug Law is an emergent sector? Yes, bedbug disputes are "filling the docket" in New York City courts, thanks to the 2004 "Bedford decision" — in which New York Judge Cyril Bedford sided with a tenant who refused to pay rent because of a bedbug problem, reversing a 1908 case that held that tenants must pay rent regardless of vermin infestation.
"Although bedbug are classified as vermin, they are unlike the more common situation of vermin such as mice and roaches, which, although offensive, do not have the effect on one's life as bedbugs do, feeding upon one's blood in hoards [sic] nightly turning what is supposed to be bed rest or sleep into a hellish experience," Judge Bedford wrote.
Now, high-profile cases like Mathias v. Accor Economy Lodging, Inc., which settled this year for $362,000, are "setting new precedents in the emerging field" of bedbug law. It also gives new life to the beleaguered field of lawyer jokes: Ha, you mean the bloodsuckers are going after the bloodsuckers? (Sorry, we're an old man.)
Bedbugs Emerge As New Area of Housing Law [NYS]