Attractive Nuisance – Why Pools and other Backyard Activities May Create Liability

I’m Matthew Mobilio, founder of Mobilio Law.  In this video I’m going to talk about a little known body of law in Pennsylvania that every property owner should be aware of:  the attractive nuisance doctrine.

I’m here on vacation in Stone Harbor, NJ staying at a home that has a beautiful pool which you can see behind me.  It is fenced in and has a number of warning signs surrounding it.  Yet, in the right situation this pool could still be considered an “attractive nuisance”.

What is an Attractive Nuisance?

In short, an attractive nuisance is anything, including a pool, that exists on your property that might attract and injure children and a swimming pool that is not properly secured is one of the most likely sources of liability on a landowner’s property.

In order for something to qualify as an attractive nuisance five criteria must be satisfied:

  • It is reasonable to believe that the structure will entice children to trespass.
  • The property owner understands (or should understand) the risk the structure poses to children.
  • The risk must be one that children cannot comprehend.
  • The cost of eliminating the risk is insignificant compared to the risk involved.
  • The property owner does not exercise reasonable care to eliminate the risk.

It is not just improperly secured or unsupervised pools that can be considered attractive nuisances.  A rickety swingset, trampoline or other common yard equipment, depending on the circumstances, could be considered attractive nuisances.

If you have questions regarding an attractive nuisance contact me today for a free no obligation case evaluation.