My, what an “attractive nuisance” you have.

My, what an “attractive nuisance” you have.

Recently, while attending a friend’s graduation, I was asked by their guests as to why all the pools they saw in Florida had pool cages. It reminded of me of the attractive nuisance doctrine and its significance in the pool filled state of Florida.

attractive nuisance property guidingThe doctrine of attractive nuisance is intended to place a burden on property owners, to in effect, protect children from dangers they are not old enough to appreciate. In summary, one who maintains or permits a condition on their property, that can reasonably be expected to attract young children, must use reasonable care to protect the children against the danger.The property owner is liable only where they knew, or should have known, that a condition existed that was alluring to children. I’m not a child anymore, but I do know that every time my daughter sees a pool, she is very much tempted to jump in it. Therein lies the premise of the attractive nuisance doctrine.

(The doctrine of attractive nuisance applies to general contractors or others who have control over the construction of a new building, not just property owners.)

To limit your legal exposure, property owners should post warning signs that not only state the danger, but actually show the danger with illustrations (see picture above). However, in the case of very young children, even that may be insufficient.

Bear in mind that the attractive nuisance doctrine is intended to apply to cases where the danger is “hidden.” It doesn’t apply where the child’s age, intelligence, and knowledge shows that they have the ability to recognize and appreciate the danger involved.

On another note, an attractive nuisance can also be found where a person abandons or discards, an airtight unit, without first removing the doors. Abandoned objects from which the doors have not been removed are presumed to be an attractive nuisance and a menace to the health and safety of children.

It’s better to be safe than sorry. We all have a duty to act reasonably to protect those who cannot protect themselves; especially children.

This is a generalized discussion and is not intended for any particular set of facts. By no means does this blog create an attorney-client relationship or attorney-client privilege. Anything relied upon in this or any blog, is done so at the readers own risk.

VERNON W. GUIRGUIS, ESQ.
The Guirguis Law Firm, PLLC
1423 S.E. 16th Place, STE 204″
Cape Coral, Florida 33990
239.573.9939 Telephone
239.603.6965 Facsimile
GuirguisLaw@gmail.com

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Posted on May 22, 2013, in Legal and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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