Giroux Amburn, P.C.
Personal Injury

A Hotel May Be Held Responsible If a Guest Is Bit By a Spider

hotel spider bite law

A hotel guest sued a Michigan hotel after he was bitten by a brown recluse spider while staying in the hotel

As a result of the bite, the guest sustained severe and permanent injuries to his leg. The guest argued that the hotel had a duty to provide reasonably safe accommodations to its guests and that it breached that duty by failing to take any action to protect or warn its guests of a dangerous condition (the spider’s presence). The hotel argued that the guest could not prove that the spider did not arrive in the hotel room on the guest’s own clothing or luggage. The hotel further maintained that the spider was a “wild animal” that was not under its possession or control and, as such, it could not be liable for the actions of the spider.

The trial court agreed with the hotel and dismissed the guest’s claim. However, in a June 4, 2019 unpublished opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals disagreed with the hotel and reversed the trial court’s decision. First, the Court of Appeals held that spiders fit within the common meaning of “vermin” and, therefore, the hotel had a duty under the innkeepers’ liability statute to keep the entire building “free from vermin”. The Court further held that, given that the guest’s room had not been treated with pesticides for over one month prior to the injury, there was a question as to whether the hotel’s practices for pest control management breached its duty to keep the premises reasonably safe and free from vermin. Accordingly, the matter was remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

http://www.michbar.org/file/opinions/appeals/2019/060419/70661.pdf

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