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What is an Attractive Nuisance?

Trusted Content
Legally reviewed by:
Erik Abrahamson
November 5, 2018
November 5, 2018 | Slip and Fall, Premises Liability

What is an Attractive Nuisance?

Children are curious creatures, and sometimes their curiosity can get the better of them. Children may do things that an adult wouldn’t do out of safety concerns. Sometimes a child’s curiosity can put them in a position where they are seriously injured. Children are not expected to behave as adults do, which is why under premises liability law, there is the doctrine of “attractive nuisance.”

Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

Generally, those who enter another person’s property without permission are considered trespassers and are given very little protection if they are injured on the property. The attractive nuisance doctrine is an exception to this rule regarding trespassers. Under this doctrine, property owners are held to a standard of care to protect children from dangerous conditions on their property, even if those children come on the property as trespassers. Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, a property owner can be liable for injuries to children trespassing on their property if:

  • The property owner knows or should know that the area where a dangerous condition exists is one where a child may trespass
  • The dangerous condition is either known or should be known, to pose an unreasonable risk to a child
  • Because of their age, the child does not realize the risk that may be involved with the dangerous condition
  • The burden of eliminating the danger is less than the risk to the child
  • The property owner fails to act with reasonable care to remove the risk to protect the child from danger

Examples of Attractive Nuisances

A property owner should be able to reasonably foresee that children will want to enter their property when certain “attractions” are present. The attractive nuisance doctrine holds property owners to a higher standard when they create an artificial condition on their property. Because children may be attracted to this condition, they ignore the risks to which they may be exposed. Examples of attractive nuisances include:

  • Swimming pools
  • Playscapes
  • Trampolines
  • Manmade ponds
  • Fountains
  • Abandoned cars
  • Holes in the ground
  • Construction or farm equipment
  • Construction materials
  • Leaning ladders
  • Discarded appliances

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If your child has been injured on someone else’s property, you should have an attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.

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