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Attractive Nuisance

Attractive Nuisance Injury Attorney

The attractive nuisance doctrine is a legal principle in tort law that holds property owners liable for injuries to children who are attracted to and harmed by dangerous conditions or objects on the property. The doctrine recognizes that children may not understand the risks associated with certain hazards and thus imposes a duty on property owners to take reasonable steps to prevent harm.

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Key Elements of the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

Attractive Hazard: The property contains a condition or object that is likely to attract children.

Foreseeability: The property owner knows or should know that the condition or object is likely to attract children and pose a risk of harm.

Unreasonable Risk: The condition or object poses an unreasonable risk of harm to children.

Children Unable to Recognize Danger: The children, due to their age and immaturity, are unable to recognize the risk.

Burden of Eliminating the Danger: The utility of maintaining the condition or object and the burden of eliminating the danger are slight compared to the risk to children.

Failure to Exercise Reasonable Care: The property owner fails to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise protect children.

Types of Attractive Nuisances and Examples

Swimming Pools: Swimming pools are probably the most common example of an attractive nuisance.

Example: A homeowner has a swimming pool without a fence or locked gate. A child enters the property and drowns in the pool. The homeowner could be held liable under the attractive nuisance doctrine.

Trampolines: Trampolines are another common example of an attractive nuisance.

Example: A property owner has a trampoline in their backyard without proper safety netting or supervision. A child enters the yard, uses the trampoline, and gets injured. The property owner could be liable.

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Construction Sites: Big equipment and even the job site itself can be an attractive play area for children.

Example: A construction site has an open pit and heavy machinery but lacks adequate fencing or warning signs. A child enters the site, falls into the pit, and is injured. The construction company could be held liable.

Abandoned Vehicles or Appliances: Discarded vehicles and appliances attract the curiosity of children. These larger items can have sharp edges, locking doors, and other dangerous hazards.

Example: An abandoned refrigerator is left in an accessible area without removing the door(s). A child climbs inside and gets trapped. The owner of the refrigerator and/or property could be liable.


Example: A private playground has old, broken equipment that is not properly maintained. A child is injured while playing on the equipment. The owner of the playground could be held liable.

Dangerous Animals: While a dangerous dog may be kept on a property with an invisible fence, this type of ‘fence’ does not actually prevent a child from entering the property.

Example: A property owner has a dangerous dog that can sometimes be aggressive. The dog is kept in an area accessible to children without proper fencing. A child approaches the dog and is bitten. The property owner could be liable.

Ladders and Climbing Structures: Ladders and trees can be attractive climbing structures for children.

Example: A property owner leaves a ladder leaning against their house. A child climbs the ladder, falls, and is injured. The property owner could be held liable under the attractive nuisance doctrine.

construction site injury and wrongful death

Application of the Doctrine

To determine liability under the attractive nuisance doctrine, courts will often consider factors such as:

  • The age and behavior of the child involved.
  • The visibility and accessibility of the hazard.
  • The actions taken by the property owner to mitigate the risk (e.g., installing fences, warning signs).
  • The presence of any contributing negligence by the child or their parents.


The attractive nuisance doctrine aims to protect children from harm by holding property owners accountable for dangerous conditions that are likely to attract them. A personal injury attorney can help you with any questions about a possible claim against negligent property owners.

Attractive Nuisance Injury Attorney

If your child was injured by an attractive nuisance, an injury attorney may be able to help. Contact Haggerty Silverman & Justice for a free consultation and case evaluation.

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