This just goes to show that attorneys are at it again to rip out the heart society.
It is entirely possible that this young man was bitten by a brown recluse. The spider bite causes a localized skin inflammation with concomitant tissue necrosis. This usually requires wide debridement. However, reactions to the bites may run the gamut from isolated cutaneous lesions which spontaneously resolve to severe local reaction with hematologic and renal involvement. The article does not describe what interventions the patient had, so it is tough to say. What is more difficult to discern is whether the airline would be a fault. It's entirely possible(and likely) that this young man (or perhaps another passenger) brought the spider on in his/her clothes/carry-baggage etc. I think the case to prove that the airline is at fault would be extremely difficult.
The article is erroneous in one point. That is the point of methicillin resistent staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)causing a "skin eating" infection. This condition (although I despise the use of the works skin eating-it's doesn't do that) is typically caused by streptococcus. MRSA is a common hospital acquired bacteria, and is a natural skin contaminant on many people (of course, there is a higher rate in health care workers). It is more commonly being found in community acquired infections today.