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Understanding the attractive nuisance doctrine

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2019 | Personal Injury |

Your kids may often look forward to the onset of spring in Kansas City simply because it serves as a sign that summer is right around the corner. To them, summer means no school and more time to play and explore the outdoors. To you, it might mean more worry that the many “adventures” they seek could lead to danger. There are many attractions out there that are inherently dangerous, yet children (particularly young children) may not appreciate the risks they present. When children are injured by such attractions, parents often come to us here at The Law Office of Michael J. Joshi wondering what legal recourse they may have. 

If you are in the same position, you should know that a legal principle exists that does allow you to assign liability to the owners of properties on which dangerous attractions are found. Called “the attractive nuisance doctrine,” this concept recognizes that in many cases, adults need to protect children from themselves. The attractive nuisances that can so easily entice kids include swimming pools, construction sites and abandoned buildings. 

The Supreme Court of Missouri has set the standard for applying the attractive nuisance doctrine to personal injury cases. To cite it, you must prove the following: 

  • That the area in which in attractive nuisance is found is one in which a property owner knew children would be likely to trespass
  • That the owner knew (or should have known) the danger that the attractive nuisance posed to kids
  • That children would likely not recognize that danger
  • That the effort required to protect kids from the attractive nuisance is slight compared to the risk of not doing so
  • That the property owner did not adequately protect kids from it

More information on assigning liability for injuries can found throughout our site.