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Premises liability: Children and irresistible attractions

Readers of our blog have often had the chance to read about various premises liability lawsuits. These lawsuits are simply an attempt to recoup some of the expenses paid by a victim for medical care and other costs associated with an accident that occurs on someone else's property. Our Florida readers might be interested in learning about a concept of premises liability called attractive nuisances.

Attractive nuisances are simply things on a person's property that might entice children to venture onto the property. One example that might be found all year long in Florida is a swimming pool. These attractions are usually irresistible to children, so it should come as no surprise the children might play with, on or in these attractions.

In the case of attractive nuisances, which aren't limited only to swimming pools, property owners have a duty to secure the items in a reasonable manner. This doesn't mean that they have to take down playsets, for example, but they do have to take reasonable steps to ensure that children will be safe if they do venture onto the attraction unless they can prevent them from doing so.

One way that property owners might secure a pool is to put a locked fence around the pool, which is the law in Florida. Other items can also be secured by fencing the area off. If the attraction isn't fenced off, the owner should make sure it is in a state that won't injure children. For example, playsets should be in good condition and free of rotting components.

When a negligent property owner doesn't take the necessary steps to ensure that children who venture onto the property will remain safe, serious accidents might occur. These often mean that there are significant medical bills coming in as a result of the injuries. In those cases, parents might opt to seek compensation for the child's injuries by filing a complaint in a Florida civil court.

Source: FindLaw, "Dangers to Children: What is an Attractive Nuisance?" Oct. 05, 2014

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