A homeowner who hires an unlicensed gardener to trim trees taller than 15 feet is vicariously liable to the gardener’s employees for injuries they suffer during the tree trimming due to the gardener’s negligence. Under B&P Code 7026.1, trimming trees taller than 15 feet requires a contractor’s license unless the trimming is done by a nurseryman as an incidental part of his job. A gardener is not a nurseryman. The gardener cares for established landscaping whereas the nurseryman is a licensed person who cares for growing plants to be installed in landscapes. Because the homeowner, in this case, hired an unlicensed gardener to do the trimming of trees taller than 15 feet, the homeowner is vicariously liable to the gardener’s employees for injuries suffered due to the gardener’s negligence.
California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District (Duarte, J.); August 2, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 680