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More roach woes for Howard University. Four years ago, students sued the school, alleging that roaches were raining down on them in a dorm. Now, a former Howard employee says a “giant” cockroach scratched one of her eyeballs with its legs.
In 2014, then-Howard IT staffer Melody Russell stepped into an elevator at the school only to be confronted by a “giant cockroach.” Then, according to Russell, the roach jumped into one of her eyes.
“The legs of the cockroach sliced [Russell’s] cornea from right to left, impairing her vision, and causing her to be in great pain,” according to the complaint.
Even after the roach fell out of Russell’s eye, she says in her lawsuit, one of its legs remained.
Howard didn’t immediately respond to questions about the lawsuit. City Paper couldn’t reach Russell for comment.
Russell is suing Howard for lost wages and medical expenses she says she incurred over the roach incident. In her lawsuit, Russell claims that she was fired while on medical leave from her cockroach-related injuries.
In an email to her supervisor after the alleged roach attack, Russell described her injuries.
Russell started working as a desktop support technician at Howard in May 2013, more than a year before the elevator incident. She said in an email to her supervisor, Chukwuemeka Nzegwu, that the cockroach was crawling on the elevator wall before it jumped into her eye.
“My eye has swollen, and I have difficulty keeping it open,” she said. “I need to see a doctor. It is difficult to work like this.”