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What is an attractive nuisance?

It is hard not worry about your kids when you are not around. There are, after all, several attractions and elements out there in Orange County that they may find appealing yet that you know can be dangerous. Your hope is that the owners of the properties on which such attractions are found understand that children in particular may be drawn to them, and thus take the necessary steps to restrict unauthorized access to them. If such property owners do not do this, is there a way for you to hold them accountable for any injuries your kids sustain from such attractions? 

The law defines man-made attractions that can pose dangers to children as "attractive nuisances." Popular attractive nuisances may include: 

  • Swimming pools
  • Construction sites 
  • Tunnels 
  • Abandoned buildings or vehicles 

Yet the presence of an attractive nuisance on a property does not automatically hold its owners liable for any injuries children suffer from its use. According to the website Nationwide.com, certain elements must be proven before the attractive nuisance doctrine can be applied to a premises liability case. First, a dangerous attraction must indeed exist on a property, and it must be shown that it was indeed created or placed there by the property owner. Next, it must be demonstrated that the property owner should have known that the attraction would have indeed enticed young children to play with or in it. Finally, you must show that the property owner also knew that playing with or in it could have caused children harm. 

Notice how no mention is made of children gaining access to an attractive nuisance by trespassing. Property owners can still be held liable if kids are injured by attractive nuisances despite having not been given permission to access them. 

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