A decade ago, Konrad "Konny" Reimann, tired of his native Hamburg, Germany, packed up his family and set off for Gainesville, Texas. There, he established Konny Island (Google translates it back from the German as "Konny Iceland") and embarked upon a thoroughly American life, complete with an ever-present cowboy hat and small salsa-making operation.
The German reality TV cameras were there from the beginning, and Reimann's outsize personality and hyperbolic embrace of the Texas lifestyle soon made him "Germany's most famous emigrant." His shtick is akin to that of a redneck-themed CMT reality show.
His daughter Janina Bradley, now in her 20s, has traded rural Gainesville for cosmopolitan Dallas, but she hasn't escaped the cameras completely. One weekend last month, she and the rest of her family stayed at the Omni Hotel downtown, preparing to film a new episode. Several interviews with European TV stations were lined up in advance.
Her stay at the Omni did not go well. She filed a lawsuit in Dallas County court this week against the Omni and its chief security officer claiming negligence. We'll get to the details in a second, but first, we'll leave it to the suit itself to dispense with the preliminaries.
The facts are simple. From September 10-11, 2013, Ms. Bradley and her family stayed at the Omni Hotel Dallas. Ms. Bradley was entering the Omni Hotel Dallas looking forward to enjoying the tranquility and service the Omni Hotel Dallas is, or was, known for. After all, Ms. Bradley had to prepare for an important day.
Indeed, Ms. Bradley is no ordinary citizen. In her native country of Germany, Ms. Bradley is what people in this country would call an A-Lister. For over a decade, Ms. Bradley and her family (the "Reimann Family") have been featured by European TV shows, radio stations, and the Internet media. To give just a small taste of their popularity, it should be noted that the Reimann Family TV Show is typically watched by several million people.
This led Courthouse News to erroneously conclude that Bradley is a member of the Reimann family of billionaire perfume magnates. If that were the case, one expects she would have wound up in lodgings more luxurious than Omni room No. 2009.
That's where Bradley woke up on the morning of September 11, excited about a day of media appearances. Then, she noticed the insect bites that covered her body and blotched her face, and her excitement was replaced with horror. Again, we'll let the lawsuit explain:
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While bug bites occur frequently to all of us, Ms. Bradley's situation is distinct in a number of ways. First, the amount of bug bites she suffered is excessive, unusual, and beyond what people can expect when vacationing in Dallas in September. Second, Ms. Bradley did not visit the Texan wilderness, but she suffered all bites inside what she believed to be safe premises, namely her hotel room. Third, the bites, by quantity and severity, were so alarming that Ms. Bradley had to consult with a physician, who attested to the complaints, symptoms, and findings. Fourth, Ms. Bradley was expected to look normal and healthy before camera.
Because the film crew flew in from overseas, Ms. Bradley could not cancel or postpone the filming. That said, Ms. Bradley had to be filmed with more than a dozen of unattractive bug bites all over her face.
Bradley says she showed the bites to hotel staff but was met with only ridicule. She is seeking unspecified damages, arguing that it was Omni's job to ensure that her room was clean and bug free.
Omni spokeswoman Anne Tramer contends Bradley's room was perfectly clean.
"Normally Omni Hotels & Resorts does not comment on litigation, however, this is something we take very seriously," she wrote in an email. "I can tell you that we immediately investigated and found no evidence of bedbugs."