Attractive nuisance: A premises liability concept

As the warmer weather begins to creep into Florida, property owners have a duty to ensure their properties are safe for those who might come onto them. For some property owners, seemingly harmless items might be the ones that cause an issue. One reason for this is the principle of attractive nuisance.

An attractive nuisance is something that could lead a child to venture onto another person’s property. Under this principle, it is assumed that a child doesn’t fully understand the dangers that certain items and actions possess. With that in mind, it is up to a property owner to ensure that their property is safe for children. With this in mind, property owners should assume that children will venture over.

There are many things that can be considered an attractive nuisance. Generally, the attractive nuisance is something that is manmade and some require that is has to be something that must be maintained. That limits the scope of the attractive nuisance principle some.

A few examples of attractive nuisances include lawn care equipment, swimming pools, walkways and dangerous animals. As an example of how the principle of attractive nuisance works is with swimming pools. If a person fails to comply with Florida law, which states that a swimming pool has to have a barrier that is at least 4-feet high and meets certain specifications to keep children out, the person can be liable if a child ventures to the pool, falls in and suffers harm.

While this principle doesn’t require property owners to childproof a property, it does give parents the right to seek compensation if their child is injured because of an attractive nuisance. Determining if your case meets the requirements is the first step in deciding how to proceed.

Source: FindLaw, “Dangers to Children: What is an Attractive Nuisance?” accessed Mar. 10, 2015