Woman says rats, roaches ruined everything in her Bradenton storage unit

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A Bradenton woman claims rats and roaches got into her storage unit and damaged most of her belongings, including brand new furniture worth thousands of dollars.

Jessica Dube-Walling says she checks on her storage unit regularly. About a week and a half ago, she was shocked to find a strong smell and gruesome visuals when she opened the bay door.

"And all of a sudden, I lift it up, I see nothing but rat poop, pee, I see everything chewed and walked on by rats," said Dube-Walling, who contacted the local Public Storage representatives and corporate offices.

However, the contract Dube-Walling signed at the beginning of her lease last year states the storage facility is not responsible and has no liability unless the loss was directly caused by the company's "intentional" or "reckless" conduct.

According to Dube-Walling, Public Storage has offered $250 in damages if she can prove her case.

"It's not fair," said Dube-Walling, who argues rodent issues are out of her control and was expecting a different response from the storage company.

Consumer attorneys say this is an example of why it's important to read the fine print when signing any kind of contract or insurance policy.

However, James Giardina, an attorney for the Consumer Rights Law Group, says Dube-Walling may be entitled to a larger reimbursement.

"The common sense responsibility and the common courtesy that a self-storage place owes to a person to keep their products safe," said Giardina.