Woman Sues Airline over Spiders on a Plane

Woman Sues Airline over Spiders on a Plane

A San Antonio, Texas woman who claims she was bitten repeatedly by one of the country’s most dangerous spiders on a flight from Germany to Dallas, Texas is suing American Airlines, and its parent company, AMR Corp.

In the lawsuit, which comes after two years of negotiation, Ursula Reiderer, 60, claims she was permanently disfigured by brown recluse spider bites she sustained during her 12-hour flight, and that the airline staff did not properly address the injury.

“She felt kind of a pinch and felt some burning and some weird sensation in her leg,” Wayne Colodny, Reiderer’s attorney said.

Big red blisters began to appear on her leg, and she “pointed it out to the flight attendant, and the flight attendant seemed to suggest it was a brown recluse spider, which leads us to think that they had known about some other spider problems on the plane,” Colodny said.
Upon landing, Reiderer was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Reiderer claims a dead brown recluse was later found on her seat, and that one was also found in the plane’s cockpit.

Though brown recluse bites are not usually deadly, they can cause serious damage to the tissue surrounding the bite. Some who are bitten experience itching, fever, vomiting, shock, or large gangrenous legions that may take up to eight months to heal. Children and the elderly are the most likely to suffer serious ill effects.

The lawsuit claims American Airlines acted negligently by failing to keep a first aid kit on board, and by knowing that there were dangerous spiders on the aircraft and failing to take reasonable steps to eliminate them, or at least warn the passengers.

According to Colodny, Reiderer still has scars and health problems, and may need reconstructive surgery as a result of the bites.

"For this condition, she will need treatment for the rest of her life," Colodny said.

Reiderer seeks unspecified damages for pain, suffering, physical impairment, medical expenses, and lost wages.

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