Seusing v. a Dutch agricultural company

13 O 97/20
April 28, 2020
Final judgment
Germany, Francfort over Oder

Beekeepers/Honey Producers
Sebastian Seusing
Georg Buchholz

Civil court
Herbicide, Glyphosate, Durano TF
Damages for the loss of 550 kg of contaminated honey; fundamental clarification of responsibilities; making the practice of farmers spraying their herbicides on flowering plants illegal.
Regional Court of Francfort over Oder, Germany

June 20, 2022
The agricultural company committed an illegal and negligent violation of its obligation to respect the beekeeper's property rights. It is declared fully responsible for the damages caused, and ordered to pay € 14,544 in damages.

Plaintiff is seeking compensation from the farm next to his hives for the use of glyphosate, which contaminated his hives and forced him to destroy 550 kg of honey in April 2019. Maximum allowable residue levels for glyphosate were exceeded up to 152 times. According to the plaintiff, his damages amounted to €14,500 and he had to quit his business. Hearings took place on Aug. 10, 2021 and on June 20, 2022, the court declared the agricultural company fully liable for the damages due to illegal and negligent violation of the plaintiff's property rights. The court awarded the beekeeper € 14,544 in damages.