on June 1, 2008 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Fox News worker sues over bedbugs in office

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Fox News employee who says she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after being bitten by bedbugs at work filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the owner of the Manhattan office tower where she worked.

Jane Clark, 37, a 12-year veteran of Fox News, a unit of News Corp, said she complained to human resources after being bitten three times between October 2007 and April 2008. She said she was ridiculed and the office was not treated for months.

Beacon Capital Partners, which owns the tower in midtown Manhattan, said in a statement that it had not been made aware of the problem and that it was the responsibility of tenants to manage infestations.

“As a prudent step, we are bringing in outside, independent experts to review the situation,” the statement said.

The suit did not say how much Clark was seeking in damages.

Clark, who says she’s been diagnosed with PTSD and can no longer work, has filed a separate workers compensation claim with News Corp, and the company is paying her medical bills and lost wages. A News Corp spokeswoman declined to comment because News Corp was not named in the lawsuit.

“They made a lot of mistakes,” Clark said through tears at a news conference at the office of her lawyer, Alan Schnurman, who said he has brought numerous bedbug cases.

“I didn’t want my baby to get bitten. I was terrified of bringing it home,” Clark said.

She said she believed a colleague who used her workstation on weekends, and who no longer works for Fox News, brought the infestation to the office. Clark’s home was never infested.

Clark says she suffers nightmares and keeps a flashlight at her bedside so she can check for bugs during the night.

“It’s their obligation to the working public to provide a safe environment,” Schnurman said.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; editing by Mohammad Zargham)