Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Tuesday, 21 July 2009 17:20 UK

German loses spider injury case

Female garden spider (Araneus diadematus)
The shock of seeing the spider caused the woman to jump back suddenly

A German woman who fell down and broke her wrist after being confronted by a big spider has failed in her attempt to sue her cleaners for negligence.

A court in Karlsruhe was told that she lost her balance in her garage when the spider appeared in front of her face.

She had sought 6,000 euros (£5,190) in compensation, claiming the cleaners were responsible for her injuries.

But the court ruled that spiders were an everyday risk and that they could creep in through windows at any time.

"Even the regular adherence to the monthly duty of clearing away cobwebs could not guarantee that no spiders would appear," the court's ruling said.

"What happened here was an everyday risk, for which the defendant should not be held responsible," the court concluded.

The cleaners were contracted to clean the garage and sweep away cobwebs once a month.

In May 2008, the woman opened her garage door and was confronted by the spider. The shock caused her to jump backwards suddenly, after which she fell and suffered a bruised right pelvis, bruises to the right side of her face, and a complicated break of the right wrist, the court heard.

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