Add deadly spider bites to your list of nightmare airline travel scenarios.
A Georgia woman who says she was bitten by a brown recluse spider on a Delta Airlines flight in January has won an $80,000 settlement, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Johnny Edwards reports.
Brandi DeLaO, 38, was on her way to South Africa when she felt something pinch her thigh. It wasn't until a hand-sized "crusty, oozing mass of dead skin" formed after landing that she sought medical attention.
“I would not wish that on my worst enemy for anything,” DeLaO, 38, told the AJC. “It was horrible. It was amazing that a spider could do all that.”
According to the University of Florida's Department of Entomology, brown recluses often bite on the thigh, upper arm, or stomach, most often after humans unwittingly roll over them in their sleep. DeLaO said she was dozing off at the time.
Thanks to passenger protections under the Montreal Convention, DeLaO walked away with a pretty sizeable settlement. By law, airlines are liable for as much as $175,800 in damages for passengers who are injured during flight.
Most of DeLaO's winnings will likely go toward medical bills. It took three surgeries to stop the venom from spreading and she has another lined up already.
A Delta spokesperson told the AJC an aircraft inspection turned up no spider infestation.
General Manager - Staff Entomologist