Warmer weather has at last arrived. School’s winding down. That means more kids out and about. When a kid spots something in your yard and says, ‘Wow, that looks like fun,’ there is probably the potential for litigation. Wynn at Law LLC’s team isn’t the downer you’ll neglect to invite to your neighborhood party, but we do help clients stay clear of ‘attractive nuisance’ trouble. I’m talking about a pool. A trampoline. A ladder. A junked fridge. Kids are drawn like magnets to them and other adventures.
When adventure turns into trespass, misadventure and injury and it ends up in court, the property owner is under fire… not the trespasser.
Defining an attractive nuisance is lengthy but pretty cut-and-dried. It’s anything artificial on your property you know that can cause harm, especially to people too young or inexperienced to understand the risk, and you fail to take reasonable measures to eliminate the danger. It’s a mouthful. But so is defending your attractive nuisance in a court case.
Here’s a link to an interesting piece from the American Bar on home/property owner risks, and here are three common nuisances with some remedies that will help keep summer fun, safe, and litigation free.
· Pools – even the small splash pools – are the leader in litigation. Property owners sometimes prevail in swimming pool injury cases, when they can show a trespassing child got into pool areas despite the owners' reasonable measures (high fences, locked gates) to keep them out.
· Home construction projects draw in little boys like moths to a flame. Loose lumber scraps in the yard or dumpster are like gold to them. Newly dug foundation holes are an invite to treasure hunt. You should wall or fence off these areas well. Courts sometimes side with or exempt builders and construction companies in attractive nuisance cases: Their very businesses require them to maintain a temporarily hazard. However, the property owner should see the risk as incentive to minimize dangers to children.
· Play structures are designed for kids, but are a risk to them as well. A fenced yard helps keep out younger or less experienced kids when it comes to skateboard jumps, trampolines, jungle gyms, and tree forts.
See the common theme here? Fences. There’s an old saying that good fences make for good neighbors. The minor expense of a fence also makes good sense for protecting you from litigation.
*The content and material in this original post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.