£13,000 Spider Bite
A long serving British Airways flight steward, Terry
O’Driscoll has recently won £13,000 in damages, after being bitten by a US
spider whilst working on a long haul flight.
It is thought that Terry had been bitten by a brown recluse
spider in May 2013. This happened whilst at work, in the staff resting area
during a long-haul jumbo jet flight, travelling to Denver, Colorado. Terry
O’Driscoll feared losing his hand after being bitten by the venomous spider,
whilst relaxing in the crew rest area during a flight from Heathrow to the
United States in May 2013. Although the
source of the bite was never definitely identified, an expert stated that the
breed of spider is native to the US.
Terry told Central London county court that at first, he
felt a small nip, and did not report the bite to anyone. As the days went on,
he became increasingly worried, as his finger began to swell and sore. He had
to undergo intensive treatment, to fight a severe infection and save his hand. The
infection was deemed ‘life and limb threatening,’ by one medical expert at a
local hospital near his home in Cork.
A judge at Central London County Court awarded Mr O’Driscoll
£13,000 in damages, BA being sued for failing to safe proof his place of work.
British Airways was criticised for “insufficient” action over the incident, the
airline having “poor reporting systems” and failing to prevent the menace of
harmful insects and spiders.
British Airways fought the case, stating that Mr O’Driscoll
could have been bitten anywhere; bugs are unwittingly carried onto planes
during flights via passengers and crew members. BA argued that bites such as
these “could not have been foreseen.”
However, the Judge ruled in Mr O’Driscoll’s favour, as Judge
stated that BA had failed to prevent bugs infesting the crew’s bunk area. Terry O’Driscoll had been a BA flight
attendant for 30 years.
If you have wrongfully sustained an injury that wasn’t your fault, whether it is in the work place or elsewhere, you too may be eligible to make a claim for damages. At Ison Harrison, we deal with a wide breadth of personal injury claims - including complex and unusual cases such as this.
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