A golf course owes a duty of care to its patrons to take reasonable steps to protect them from swarms of yellow jackets emanating from underground nests on the premises. Evidence showed that yellow jackets are endemic in Northern California and often nest underground in gopher holes or other similar underground holes. Yellow jackets swarm and attack animals, including humans, when they feel their nests are threatened, as they may if the person approaches within 10 feet of the nest. Thus, the threat of injury from a yellow jacket nest on the premises was foreseeable. The other Rowland v. Christian factors also weighs in favor of finding a duty of care in this situation. Preventive measures are not costly. Yellow jackets aren’t an endangered species, so eradicating them on a golf course is not a concern outweighing the counterbalancing preservation of human health and safety.
California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 1 (Humes, P.J.; Bank, J., concurring); August 1, 2018; 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 674