Would you be driven from your cushy suburban crib with golf course views by a few –thousand — spiders?
Missouri Family Flees Their Home After Discovering Thousands Of Spiders Living There
According to St. Louis Dispatch reports:
The spider problem started in October 2007, shortly after Brian and Susan Trost bought the home at 84 Gillette Field Close, according to testimony at a civil trial. The Trosts had purchased the home, built in 1988, for $450,000.
Susan Trost testified she was walking through her new home, exploring it on her first day there, when she noticed a large, stringy web wrapped around one of the light fixtures.
In the following days, she saw spiders and their webs every day. They were in the mini blinds, the air registers, the pantry ceiling, the fireplace. Their exoskeletons were falling from the can lights. Once when she was showering, she dodged a spider as it fell from the ceiling and washed down the drain.
Trost testified she contacted a pest control company that came in on a weekly basis, spraying the interior and exterior and setting down sticky traps. Since brown recluse spiders often live behind walls, she hired someone to come in and remove drywall so the exterminator could spray behind it. She hired another company to remove the insulation from the attic and put down a pesticide powder.
“After the attic treatment, it seemed to help for quite a while, although we were still capturing them,” she testifiedd. “It just was a decline; they weren’t gone.”
Can you imagine? At what point would you give up and move out?
The couple eventually decided to sue:
In 2008, the Trosts filed a claim with their insurance company, State Farm, and a civil lawsuit against the home’s previous owners, Tina and David Gault, for allegedly not disclosing the brown recluse and other problems with the home.
At a jury trial in St. Charles County in October 2011, Jamel Sandidge, a biology professor at the University of Kansas, described the brown recluse problem at the Trost home as “immense,” between 4,500 and 6,000 spiders.
Jurors found in the Trosts’ favor and awarded them $472,110, but they have never collected.
The Gaults had their defense provided by their insurers, also State Farm. But when the verdict was entered, State Farm claimed the Gaults’ policy had no coverage and refused to pay, according to the Trosts’ attorney, Thomas J. Magee.
State Farm filed an appeal of the judgment, but it was withdrawn in April 2013. The Gaults filed for bankruptcy about the same time. They could not be reached for comment.
The Trosts have since filed another lawsuit, this one against State Farm for failing to pay the claims they initially filed regarding the spider damage.
The couple’s lawyer says State Farm claims the policy doesn’t cover spiders, but he’s arguing that the exclusion is for insects and courts in other states have held that spiders are not insects. What is unfortunate is that when the insurance company refused to pay the judgment the Trosts felt they had no choice but to move out and the home has remained abandoned since going into foreclosure.
What would you have done if you were faced with this situation?