Attractive Nuisances – Say What?

You may think you won’t be held liable if a trespasser is injured in your back yard. But you might be if you have an attractive nuisance!

When something on a property is both dangerous and attractive to kids (think unguarded swimming pools, playground equipment or broken-down cars), the landowner is legally obligated to protect children from it.

The attractive nuisance doctrine was established in R.R. Co. v. Stout in 1874 when a railroad company chose not to lock up or guard a dangerous railroad turntable (a machine that turns trains around). The court decided the company knew kids were regularly playing on it and should have taken measures to keep them away.

Generally, an attractive nuisance is:

•Inherently dangerous and enticing to young children.

•Unguarded and exposed at a place where children are likely to play.

•Created or maintained by the landowner (pools count, ponds usually don’t).

Bottom line? Putting a secure fence around that trampoline is a really good idea!

Home insurance can help prepare you for attractive nuisance claims, but coverage varies by policy. A licensed agent can give you expert advice on your situation. In the meantime, you may want to survey your property for any dangerous thing that looks like too much fun