Student sues OSU for $175,000 after suffering bat tick bites in dorm

Mike Seals - March 4, 2021 9:48 am

At least 23 species of the flying mammals have been documented in Oklahoma; seven species are most likely to occupy bat houses in urban and rural areas. Two factors – bat house location and design – will greatly influence whether or not bats will move in to the house.(Okla. Dept. of Wildlife)

by: Cassandra Sweetman

STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma State University student is suing the university after she claims she was bitten multiple times by bat ticks as a result of a bat infestation in her dorm that went neglected.

The complaint filed in November alleges that in August 2019, the student was living in Patchin Hall. She said she woke up several times with “unknown red bites on her face” and “all over the parts of her body not covered with clothing.”

Her attorney argued that she was “not aware the bites were being caused by bat ticks deeply nested and rooted in her dorm room ceiling from bats living above her bed in the ceiling.”

The complaint cites CDC statistics stating that bats cause seven out of 10 rabies deaths in the U.S., and that after more than 25 separate bites, the student “had a substantial risk of rabies transmittal of blood.”

However, it states the OSU Health Clinic staff failed to give her preventative rabies shots until she pressed the issue.

The student is seeking $175,000 for physical and emotion trauma.

Those dorms continue to have bat issues.

Earlier this week, a bat was spotted in one of the Patching-Jones Hall dorms.

“We got a text in our dorm GroupMe that there was indeed a bat in the elevator and they just said to avoid it and not go in it,” said student Connor Peters.

An email was sent to dorm residents alerting them that “we have had bats make their way into the upper floors of Patching-Jones Hall. Please be aware that as the year goes on this could happen again!”

OSU declined KFOR’s requests for comment, saying they can’t comment on pending litigation.

Students said they now deal with fear of the ticks as best they can.

“Just washing the sheets mostly a little more consistently than normal,” said student Corinn Dugan. “I mean there’s not much else we can really do.”


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