Premises Liability: What Actually is an Attractive Nuisance?

Posted October 25th, 2016 by .

Categories: Premises Liability.

attractive-nuisance-anthony-carboneAn attractive nuisance sounds like a contradiction of terms.  However, the attractive nuisance doctrine may apply to some New Jersey premises liability claims.  Our series on premises liability has focused primarily on slip and fall accidents.  Let’s look outside the box to see how other types of claims fall under the premises liability umbrella.

First, it’s a given that attractive nuisance claims deal with accidents involving children.  It’s the concept that a dangerous condition basically lures a toddler or a child to explore it.  The property owner may claim that the child was trespassing at the time of the accident.  However, if nothing was done to secure or warn of the hazardous conditions, it might not matter if the child was not lawfully on the property.

Some Examples of Attractive Nuisance Claims

Not sure what would constitute an attractive nuisance?  The first that generally comes to mind are swimming pool accidents.  We’ve all heard stories of children wandering over to a neighbor’s pool.  It’s the reason that most communities have ordinances requiring fencing around swimming pools.  An innocent child might not realize the risk the hazardous condition represents.

The basic premise of an attractive nuisance claim is that the property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition.  There must be foresight that the condition might appear inviting to a child.   There must also be evidence that the property was accessible to trespassers.

Unsecured swimming pools are just one type of attractive nuisance claim.  Here are some other examples:

  • Construction sites: A child of any age may decide to explore a construction site and subsequently suffer severe injuries.
  • Old appliances: Items such as old refrigerators put out for trash may appear inviting to young children.  They may think they’ve found a creative way to “play house” and become stuck inside.
  • Playground equipment: Improperly maintained and constructed playground equipment is not just limited to parks and school grounds.  Some people have installed swings and slides on residential property.  They can represent an attractive nuisance as a child wanders over to play and is injured.
  • Automobiles: Whether a car is in perfect condition or abandoned, automobile owners should secure the vehicle to ensure no one may enter.  The worst horror might occur if a child was to start a car with one of the keyless ignition starts.

Contact Us

We’ve provided you with some examples of premises liability claims that are based on the attractive nuisance doctrine.  There are many other events that may fall under this part of the law.  If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone would like to assist you.  Contact us to schedule an appointment.

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