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New York’s Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

The State of New York has an attractive nuisance doctrine that applies to certain child injury cases. The intention of this law is to help protect children from injuries caused by property owners and managers who fail to implement the protections necessary to help keep them away from dangerous attractions, such as pools, Jacuzzis, and trampolines.

If your child is injured on someone else’s property, you should consult with a New York City child injury attorney right away.

Children Are Curious by Their Very Nature

A child’s curiosity leaves him or her open to learning and new experiences, but it also leaves the child far more vulnerable to placing himself or herself in dangerous situations. When an adult enters someone else’s property without an invite or permission, he or she is trespassing in the eyes of the law, and if injured, the adult is unlikely to have a legal leg to stand on.

When the so-called trespasser is a child, however, it’s a somewhat different situation. The attractive nuisance doctrine helps to protect children in this situation by holding the property owner or manager liable if all the following apply:

  • The child’s injuries were caused by an artificial (not naturally occurring) danger on the property that is known to or likely to attract children who can’t adequately appreciate the inherent risk associated.
  • The property owner or manager could have or should have foreseen the child’s attraction to the danger.
  • The property owner recognized or should have recognized that the attractive nuisance in question posed an inherent danger to the child.
  • The benefit of keeping the attractive nuisance and the burden associated with eliminating its danger (for the property owner or manager) was slight in comparison to the level of risk experienced by the child.
  • The property owner or manager failed to employ reasonable care in his or her efforts to remove the danger in question.

Common Attractive Nuisances

Attractions such as pools and Jacuzzis are commonly understood to be attractive nuisances whose owners are routinely expected to implement safety protocols, such as covers and fences. There are other common attractive nuisances, however, that don’t get the same level of scrutiny, including:

  • Man-made ponds, lakes, and fountains
  • Trampolines
  • Playground equipment and jungle gyms
  • Abandoned cars and appliances
  • Farm equipment
  • Exposed power lines
  • Holes dug in the ground

A Note about Trampolines

While every adult understands the inherent danger that pools and Jacuzzis pose for children, many don’t recognize that trampolines pose a very similar threat. The fact is that the accident statistics related to trampoline injuries are very similar to those related to pool injuries, and these kid-magnates should be afforded the same level of safety precautions by their owners.

Seek the Professional Legal Counsel of an Experienced NYC Child Injury Attorney

If your child has been injured by a property owner or manager who failed to adequately protect him or her from an attractive nuisance, such as a pool or trampoline, the dedicated New York City child injury attorneys at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman – serving NYC for more than 80 years – can help. Our stellar legal team is passionate about defending children’s rights, so please don’t wait to contact us online or call us at 212-285-3300 to schedule your free consultation today.