Oklahoma State student Mary Ledbetter filed a lawsuit against OSU on Nov. 24 for physical and emotional damages suffered in 2019 after being repeatedly bitten by bat ticks while living in Patchin Hall –– which, according to the lawsuit, has been nicknamed “Batchin Hall” by some.
Bat ticks are routinely found in houses and buildings that are infested with bats, according to researchers at Iowa State University’s extension program.
Ledbetter’s lawyer, Randall Gill, alleges in the lawsuit that OSU knew of bat and bat tick infestations on campus dating back to 2017, but did not warn students. OSU students are required to live on campus their first year.
After being bitten multiple times, Ledbetter had to receive eight rabies shots, which gave her symptoms such as fever, shaking, fatigue and hot and cold flashes.
Ledbetter was then granted permission to move into Village D because she “mentally and physically could not live in Patchin Hall.”
Two weeks after she moved, Ledbetter was gathering the last of her belongings at her former Patchin Hall room. Despite OSU alleging that the room was safe, Ledbetter found even more bat ticks in the room.
“OSU treated Mary as if she were a nuisance and continuously assured Mary the dorm room was safe when it was not. OSU never properly eradicated the bats or bat ticks in Patchin Hall,” Gill noted in the lawsuit.
Ledbetter requested the amount of $175,000 for mental, physical and financial suffering, reimbursement of all expenses, rabies vaccine and humiliation from other students.
In addition to Ledbetter’s case, The O’Colly knows of at least one other bat-related incident at OSU. According to a video posted on social media in late September, a bat was hanging in Edmon Low Library with students present.
When asked for a comment, OSU officials said that they cannot comment on pending litigation.