Athena Strand’s father names Tanner Horner, FedEx, in new lawsuit

After delivery driver Tanner Horner allegedly admitted to killing 7-year-old Athena Strand, he is being sued by the victim’s father.

North Texas news network WFAA reported Wednesday that Strand’s father had filed a lawsuit against the 31-year-old suspect. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, also lists FedEx and the Dallas-area contractor that hired Horner.

Strand’s father has asked for a jury trial and more than $1 million in damages, according to the WFAA.

news week reported last week that Horner confessed to law enforcement that he strangled the child after accidentally driving the FedEx van into her. The suspect had driven to her home in Paradise, Texas, to drop off a package.

Strand’s mum has revealed the home delivery was a Christmas present for the young girl: a box of You Can Be Anything Barbie dolls.

FedEx Named in Athena Beach Suit
A FedEx vehicle is pictured above. The company is named in a lawsuit against Tanner Horner sparked by the death of Athena Strand.
Justin Sullivan/Getty

The recently filed lawsuit alleges that FedEx and the contractor acted negligently in hiring Horner. The companies are also accused of not having the right security policies and procedures in place.

According to Horner’s arrest warrant, Big Topspin Inc.

FedEx has about 6,000 contractors nationwide that offer delivery services through their employees and package pickups, the WFAA found.

A FedEx spokesman said: “Employees at these service companies are subject to criminal background checks as part of the driver licensing process. As is standard across the industry and considered standard employment practice, the background check process will be performed by a third party.”

On Friday, December 9 — more than a week after Strand’s disappearance on November 30 — FedEx released a statement on its website.

“We share the collective sorrow at this heartbreaking tragedy and our thoughts remain with Athena Strand’s family,” the statement said. “We continue to fully cooperate with the investigative authorities.”

FedEx had not responded to this news week‘s request for comment after publication time. However, the shipping giant told the WFAA that “it was aware of the lawsuit.” Nor did it respond to specific questions about the details of Horner’s employment.

In addition, a FedEx spokesman reportedly said that service providers use their own equipment and vehicles, as well as their own employees. The representative added: “As such, we are not at liberty to discuss details of personnel employed by service providers.”

Horner appears to have no criminal record, but a woman took to social media three years ago to accuse him of rape.

news week reached out to Horner’s attorney for comment. Athena Strand’s father names Tanner Horner, FedEx, in new lawsuit

Rick Schindler

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