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What owners must do when a pool is an attractive nuisance

An attractive nuisance is essentially something on a person's property that may cause harm to others, typically focusing on small children. These children may not understand the danger or the risk. Owners have a responsibility to protect them, even when these small children are technically trespassing.

One of the most common examples is a swimming pool. Young children may sneak in to swim while no one is around, and they could then drown in the pool. Even when the owner did not know what was happening -- perhaps he or she was out of town -- that person could get sued if there was a clear danger and no steps were taken to protect the children.

Some things that pool owners need to do include:

  • Making sure no one can access the pool without permission.
  • Hanging up warning signs telling people not to trespass and that there is a risk.
  • Putting up high fences all the way around the pool or around the entire property -- or both.
  • Installing gates that lock from the inside so that only those on the property can open them.

Remember, one of these steps may not be enough. For instance, while signs can help, young children may not be able to read. A pool with warning signs and no fence is still a liability risk if someone drowns.

Those whose children are injured or tragically killed in these swimming accidents also need to know their rights to compensation. Remember, with an attractive nuisance as an established part of the law, cases are possible even when children were not invited to swim.

Source: FindLaw, "Who Is Liable for Drowning and Accidents in Private Pools?," Ephrat Livni, accessed June 01, 2018

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