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Detailing the attractive nuisance doctrine

California’s perpetually pleasant weather allows you and your family access to outdoor activities all throughout the year. For your kids, that can mean endless swimming, hiking and exploring. Like most parents in Pomona, you no doubt encourage such activities, yet also worry about your kids’ safety while engaged in them. The hope is that they will exercise sound judgment (or that others will account for their lack of it when you are not around). Sadly, many parents have come to us here at The Law Offices of Christian J. Amendt when that has not happened questioning what (if any) legal recourse is available to them.

You understand that there will be times when a particular feature or condition is so attractive to young children that its appeal overrides any fears or reluctant thoughts that they may experience. Lawmakers do as well, which is why the attractive nuisance doctrine has been developed. According to the Cornell Law School, this legal principle recognizes that children may lack the understanding to comprehend the dangers that potentially hazardous or artificial condition or object can pose. Thus, it places the responsibility on the owners of the properties on which these conditions are found to protect kids from them. This responsibility remains in place even if your kids gain access to the dangerous attraction without the property owner’s permission.

How might this apply to you? Say that your child enters into the yard of a pool owner and gets into their pool (with or without the owner’s permission). If they sustain any injuries, the pool owner may be held liable (unless they had taken noticeable action to restrict access to it).

You can learn more about assigning fault in premises liability cases by continuing to explore our site.