When a Hazardous Condition Resembles an Attractive Nuisance
It’s a sad story we seem to hear every summertime. A young child wanders outside and is ultimately found at the bottom of a swimming pool. No doubt the pool was intended to allow fun and relief from the heat. Instead, it becomes a hazardous condition. And, thus, an attractive nuisance.
For starters, let’s review the premise of an attractive nuisance. The term specifically applies to premises liability claims involving children. The logic is that kids do not necessarily have the logic to understand dangerous conditions. The swimming pool example is a perfect one. A toddler may recall water fun with mom and dad.
The problem, of course, is that a small child does not know how to swim. Although the swimming pool looks like fun, it is really an attractive nuisance. One can only hope the youngster is found before the accident becomes a fatal one.
Attractive Nuisances as Premises Liability Claims
Of course, swimming pools are just one example of attractive nuisances. Children are drawn to a variety of hazardous conditions. For example, a child may find a construction project fascinating. Unfortunately, the failure to secure the site can result in a serious accident when the child decides to investigate it.
For the most part, trespassers are not generally able to make claims against property owners. Think about it. Adults should be wary of dangerous conditions and should refrain from making uninvited visits. Or, at the very least, seek the permission of a landowner before invading their premises.
Notwithstanding, children are the exception. There is no requirement to show willful and wanton negligence when it comes to making a claim on behalf of a child.
Instead, property owners have some responsibilities when it comes to anticipating that a child could trespass on their property. Here’s a quick synopsis:
- Landowner is aware or should be aware of hazardous condition
- Property owner is required to do something to secure premises and prevent harm
- Considerable attention should be given to the fact that children may not anticipate risk
- Property owner should foresee that a child may be attracted to the dangerous condition
So, what does all this mean? In the case of the swimming pool example, it may be as simple as securing the backyard with a locked fence. Ultimately, the idea is to prevent accidental injury.
Was your child possibly injured due to someone else’s negligence? The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone can assist you in determining if there is a claim. Contact us to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.