Mount Clemens man sues over bed bugs

Man says building owner tried to throw him out for complaint


MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – A Mount Clemens man has filed a lawsuit against his apartment building owner who, he says, refused to clean a bed bug infestation in the building.

Frank Manion, 71, lives in a six-unit apartment building on 38th Street in Mount Clemens. Manion said bed bugs are everywhere in the building. He said he first spotted the bugs a few months ago.

After several tenants complained about the infestation, the building owner had an exterminator investigate. The exterminator said the building was infested.

However, the building owner refused to pay to fix the problem. When Manion refused to pay rent until the bugs were exterminated, the building owner tried to break the lease with Manion and throw him out for complaining.

"I believe it was a retaliatory eviction. My client turned the landlord into the city of Mount Clemens," said Manion's attorney, James Galen. "He made a formal written complaint. Shortly thereafter my client is in court for an eviction. My client was not evicted. He prevailed."

Manion went to court on Thursday where a judge ruled the owner could not throw him out and tenants do not have to pay lease until the problem is fixed.

Manion is retired and battles diabetes. He has had heart surgery and other health problems. Now, he is sleeping on his floor because he had to throw out his bed, chairs and couch.

"(The bugs) have been sucking my blood," Manion said. "I wake up with sores all over my body from the bites. It has been a horrible experience."

However, due to the judge's ruling, an exterminator will be out to the building soon.

"I'm planning on moving, because I don't think he is going to come through," Manion said.

Manion said he intends to take the building owner to civil court, too.