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Sanders v. Odilia's Express, Inc.

2017 Del. Super. LEXIS 317 (2017)

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Sanders v. Odilia’s Express, Inc.

Delaware Superior Court

2017 Del. Super. LEXIS 317 (2017)

Facts

Douglas Sanders (plaintiff) worked as a professional beekeeper for Harvey’s Honey. Among his other duties, Sanders transported beehives to other farms and helped farmers remove swarms. Over the two years of his employment with Harvey’s Honey, Sanders was stung approximately 100 times. On May 20, 2014, Harvey’s Honey was hired to salvage hundreds of bees that had escaped from an overturned tractor-trailer on an interstate exit. Sanders and three other Harvey’s Honey employees were sent to do the work. Sanders, aware of the number of bees that had escaped, dressed in the clothes he normally wore as a beekeeper, but he added an extra shirt and duct-taped his pants and waist. During the three hours Sanders worked at the accident site, he was stung continuously, causing him to develop a permanent allergy to venom. Sanders sued the tractor-trailer owner, Odilia’s Express, Inc.; the tractor-trailer operator, Adolfo Guerra; and the parties who hired the tractor-trailer to transport the bees, Steve Eisele and Pollination US, Inc. (collectively, the bee transporters) (defendants). Sanders asserted claims for negligence as well as strict liability, alleging that transporting bees is an ultrahazardous activity. The bee transporters moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jurden, J.)

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