Attractive Nuisance Doctrine Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Attractive Nuisance Doctrine, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Attractive Nuisance Doctrine?

(n) Doctrine of Attractive nuisance holds a person liable for the loss or suffering caused to a child, by making or causing to make a situation or event which may attract a child consequently leading to an accident, loss or damages. Eg. Leaving a pit uncovered or unfenced.2. Carelessly leaving a harmful object. Recent enactments limits its preview to liabilities arising out of foreseeable danger only.

History and Meaning of Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine is a legal principle that holds property owners liable for injuries caused to children who are attracted to hazardous conditions on their property, even if the child is technically trespassing. The doctrine was first established in the 1870s as a way to encourage property owners to take responsibility for ensuring children's safety.

According to the doctrine, property owners have a duty to eliminate or reduce dangerous conditions on their property that may attract children. The doctrine applies only to children who are too young to understand the potential danger of the condition, yet are old enough to be attracted to it. If a child is injured or killed due to an attractive nuisance on someone else's property, the property owner may be held legally responsible.

Examples of Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

  1. A homeowner has a swimming pool that is unfenced and easily accessible. A child wanders onto the property, sees the pool, and falls in, resulting in injury or death. The homeowner may be held liable for the child's injuries or death under the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine.
  2. A construction company leaves heavy machinery unsecured and unattended on a job site. A child is attracted to the machinery, climbs on it, and is injured. The construction company may be held liable for the child's injuries under the doctrine.
  3. A business owner leaves open pits or holes in the ground on their property. A child is attracted to the opening, falls in, and is injured. Under the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine, the business owner may be held responsible for the child's injuries.

Legal Terms Similar to Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

  1. Strict Liability: a legal doctrine in which a person is liable for harm caused to another person, even if they were not negligent or did not intend to cause harm.
  2. Trespassing: the act of entering someone else's property without permission or legal right.
  3. Negligence: failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing harm or injury to another person.