What is an attractive nuisance?

People who have certain items on their property in Florida that could attract and endanger children could be held liable for harm under the attractive nuisance doctrine. What constitutes an attractive nuisance is not entirely clear nor is there a specific age limit for who could be considered a child in attractive nuisance and premises liability cases. Teenagers might need protection from some attractive nuisances while only younger children might be seen as protected for others.

Although examples can be given of attractive nuisances, to fully understand what an attractive nuisance is one needs to consider the ramifications of its existence. A swimming pool is something kids might want to play in but unsupervised they could jump or fall in and drown. The same could be said of fountains or wells. But anything that a child might want to see up close and could then become hurt by might be called an attractive nuisance.

An unfriendly dog or other animals that kids might try to play with but pose a threat could be seen as attractive nuisances. Tunnels, staircases and even pathways might also be attractive nuisances if they are dangerous. Someone who leaves out a lawnmower or other potentially dangerous machinery that kids might want to use could be liable in an attractive nuisance case. However, there are limitations. Typically, attractive nuisances are limited to man-made items, so a natural lake or pond would not count like a swimming pool. Courts also know that children are aware of some hazards, such as the risk of injury from falling off something.

Homeowners and landlords are obligated to keep their property safe. Parents of children injured by an attractive nuisance could get assistance from an attorney in filing a premises liability case for the recovery of appropriate damages.

SourceFindLaw, “Dangers to Children: What is an Attractive Nuisance?“, October 30, 2014