What Is an Attractive Nuisance?
Mount Laurel Personal Injury / Pool Attorneys
Homeowners who have a swing set, pool or trampoline in their backyards may be exposing themselves to unwanted liability without carefully thinking about it. What is an “attractive nuisance”? Legally, an >attractive nuisance is any potentially hazardous or dangerous condition or object that might attract children to enter a piece of property in order to play with or explore the hazardous condition or object in question. This means that construction companies, schools, even businesses can be held liable if equipment, jungle gyms or sculptures are considered an attractive nuisance by the court.
Taking Steps to Secure Property — Will this Reduce Liability?
Property owners might think that if they comply with existing codes regarding safety and security fences, they can’t be held responsible for injuries to children who trespass on property and hurt themselves on a trampoline, back hoe or abandoned car. Under the doctrine of attractive nuisance, however, property owners are strictly liable for creating conditions that pose a risk to children, who are unable to fully appreciate the danger posed to them.
For example, if a salvage yard has a security fence surrounding its property with “No Trespassing” signs posted, the yard’s owner can still be held liable for injuries to any children who enter the property to play with discarded refrigerators, washing machines or junked cars. Since younger children are not always able to accurately assess the risks inherent in a situation, the attractive nuisance law holds property owners liable for any failure to completely secure or remove an attractive nuisance, even if a property owner’s property is up to code.
Holding Property Owners Liable under New Jersey Attractive Nuisance Law
An important issue in any personal injury case involving an attractive nuisance is whether or not the injured child could have properly identified and assessed the dangers inherent in a situation. For many courts, however, the issue is whether or not the injuries were foreseeable. For instance, if a construction company working on a job near a school leaves the keys in its tractors overnight, is it foreseeable that children or young teenagers might be attracted by the tractors and try to start them up? If so, then a failure on the part of the construction company to eliminate this risk by removing the keys could be considered negligent.
Contact Mount Laurel Premises Liability Attorneys at Taylor & Boguski
Attractive nuisance cases require investigation, consideration of the evidence and a thorough review of a property owner’s actions. At Taylor & Boguski, we understand what needs to be done to investigate and present these kinds of cases. For more information regarding our practice and how we can help you, contact Mount Laurel premises liability attorneys at Taylor & Boguski today.