Lawsuit a Cautionary Tale About Renting Furniture
Monday, May 21, 2012
HOUSTON, TX - A Houston woman is suing Rent-a-Center over what
she describes as a bedbug infestation. She claims the store sold
her furniture just covered in the tiny pests that are difficult to
get rid of.
The woman rented two couches and a television and when everything
was delivered, she said her family immediately started itching like
crazy. They soon discovered one of the pieces of furniture
was infested with bedbugs and they were later diagnosed with
"Right now, to this day, my son is still scared to even be on a
couch so for over a year I haven't had any furniture inside of my
living room," says Leah Angle.
In August of 2011, Angle, her boyfriend and son had just moved into
a new apartment. She rented furniture from the Rent-a-Center off
Scott Street in southeast Houston to help make the empty one
bedroom unit a little more homey.
But when everything was delivered, they discovered they got a
little more than what they paid for.
"The same day when I came home from work my boyfriend complained
about itching and I thought it was something that he ate and he
lifted up the couch pillows and we saw like mites or bugs or
something. I asked them to come pick the furniture up and
they said they would come and spray it with something that was
better than raid," says Angle.
That night though there was proof that the problem was not
"I recorded on the phone and the bugs instantly started falling off
the couch, I laid a red sheet down so you can see it as I was
filming it on my phone," says Angle. She called Rent-a-Center back
the next day and told them to get the furniture out, which she says
they did, but the family's itching only got worse.
"He took the bugs that he had captured from out of the couch before
they came to pick it up, and he took it to Ben Taub, they gave him
a biohazard bag to put the bugs in and he was diagnosed with
scabies," says Angle. She and her 4-year-old son were also
diagnosed with scabies.
"My son has asthma so it made him flare up 2 times, my son had
nightmares, my boyfriend took a long time to heal, he broke out
constantly in welts, hives, blisters. Personally I felt
nasty, I felt dirty. Aching, dizziness, feverish, nauseated,
itching very much so," says Angle.
Because the bedbugs spread throughout the entire apartment, the
family was forced to get rid of almost all of their personal
belongings. And after she paid for an exterminator to come in, they
still did not feel clean and comfortable, so they had to move to
After a five-month ordeal, no apology and no help from
Rent-a-Center, the dead end road actually led the family to hire a
"On Thursday, we had to file a lawsuit in Houston District Court in
order to get Rent-a-Center's attention and to acknowledge that this
could happen to anyone, not just this family," says attorney Rodney
Which is the message Leah Angle has for you.
"I'm still hoping that nobody goes through what I went though, not
just for me and my family, its for people who rent furniture, come
home from work and don't even know that you might not be living
comfortably," says Angle.
Employees at the sSoutheast Houston store would not comment on
Calls from FOX 26 News to the corporate office in Plano have not