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Hiring unlicensed contractors may lead to litigation for homeowners

A local homeowner says they called a beekeeper on Thursday to remove a hive of bees attached to their home. The beekeeper was called to avoid exterminating the colony but when the worker arrived for the job, he was attacked. 8/5/16 (Christy Wilcox | KSNV)

After getting stung almost 400 times by Africanized bees, Jose Moreno-Pacheco, remains at Southern Hills Hospital in critical condition.

Moreno was hired for the day to work with Tom's Bee Hives, a person who identifies as a beekeeper on his website. Moreno was at a Southwest home helping to remove bees and a beehive from the attic after the homeowner called the beekeeper to save the bees.

As a handyman, Moreno was not given any protection gear while working on removal efforts. Friends say he is currently unconscious in the hospital and family members are searching for ways to come from Mexico to help decide on appropriate medical treatment.

RELATED | Africanized bees attack beekeeper's worker

Attorney Norman Reed said homeowners should know what their home insurance covers, as well as what they are personally liable for should an accident happen at their home.

"Insurance companies know if you hire a licensed contractor they are not going to be on the hook and nor will you as the homeowner," Reed said.

Reed says if the person you bring into your home is not a licensed professional it can cost you.

"It depends on your insurance policy. A lot of times for these type of catastrophic injuries or death, it could be up to a million dollars," Reed said.

RELATED | Exterminator removing bees is stung hundreds of times, suffering life-threatening injuries

Any company using chemicals to treat pests like termites and bees must be licensed by the Department of Agriculture in the state of Nevada. Other types of home-based service contractors have to get licenses via the Nevada State Contractors Board.

As for homeowners who want to remove or re-home bees rather than killing them, they can contact a licensed beekeeper through the Northern Nevada Beekeepers Association. Beekeepers can also be verified pest control experts.

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