Q What Is an “Attractive Nuisance?”
An attractive nuisance is a potentially hazardous object or condition on someone’s property that's likely to attract children — children who are unable to understand the risk posed by the object or condition, due to their youth.
If the owner of the property failed to use “ordinary care” in preventing an injury and had reason to foresee entry by a child, he or she may be liable for any injury caused to the child, regardless of whether that child was invited onto the property or was trespassing.
Objects or conditions commonly deemed “attractive nuisances” include swimming pools, construction sites, fountains, discarded appliances, abandoned cars, farm equipment, trampolines, and holes in the ground, among others.
Under attractive nuisance law, a landowner can be held responsible if a child is injured by an “artificial condition” — a man-made pond, but not a natural lake, for example — on the landowner’s property and all five of the following criteria are met:
- The landowner knows (or should know) that children are likely to trespass on the property.
- The condition on the property has the potential to cause death or serious bodily harm to children.
- The children involved are too young or inexperienced to understand the risk presented by the condition.
- The benefit of maintaining the condition or the cost required to remedy the condition is minimal compared with the risk to children.
- The landowner fails to take reasonable measures to eliminate the danger posed by the condition (such as fencing in a pool).
Courts apply these principles on a case-by-case basis.
If your child was injured on someone's property and you believe it could have been prevented, let our office help. We will investigate your case and help you get the compensation your child needs and deserves.
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