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Ohio premises liability | summer, kids and attractive nuisances

The term "nuisance" typically describes something that annoys people, but in legalese, the word can also mean something that poses danger. Taking the concept a step further, the term "attractive nuisance" refers to something that poses danger, but is attractive to children.

Under certain conditions, the owner of property containing attractive nuisances could be targeted in a premises liability action if a child becomes injured on the premises. This is so even if the child trespassed onto the property rather than being invited.

It is important for Ohio parents to understand the attractive nuisance doctrine. Here is an example explaining why. Say a child sees an uncovered well in a neighbor's yard and there are no fences or gates to keep trespassers away. Attracted by the structure, the child wanders over uninvited, falls in and suffers a serious spine injury.

The parents may think that because the child trespassed onto the property nothing can be done to find a remedy. This is not always the case. The attractive nuisance doctrine requires property owners to exercise a special duty of care if they believe children could wander onto their property. Failing to do so could result in a premises liability lawsuit.

Spring and summer brings children out in droves and their natural curiosity does not always keep them in their own yards. Some examples of potentially dangerous attractive nuisances include water features, stairs or tunnels, construction projects and even animals.

If your child does become injured on someone else's property, it may be wise to talk about the attractive nuisance doctrine with a personal injury attorney serving your area.

Source: FindLaw, "Dangers to Children: Attractive Nuisances," accessed April 18, 2017

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