Posted: June 7th, 2016

Attractive Nuisance

IRAC Scenario

Twenty years ago Jack and his wife Wanda bought and currently reside in a house located in Walnut, CA. The house has a very nice swimming pool with a slide and has a view of downtown Los Angeles. Mike and Carol Brady live next to Jack and Wanda and have six children that range from the ages of 9 to 17. Jack and Wanda know that Jan Brady (11 years old) and Cindy Brady (9 years old) love to ride skateboards and would often see the girls in front of the house skating on the sidewalk. In 2007, Jack lost his job and he and Wanda had to really cut back on their expenses, so they decided to drain all the water from their swimming pool.

About a week ago, Jack came home after a long day of job searching, and noticed several skateboard tracks in the pool, as well as a young girls jacket. He walked to the side of his house and noticed a hole in his fence large enough for a medium child to crawl through. He immediately called a repairman and got a $100 quote to fix the fence. Jack and Wanda decided that they would fix the fence in a couple of months.

A few days ago, Cindy Brady crawled through the fence and attempted to skate down the slide into the pool. Unfortunately, Cindy lost her balance and fractured her skull when she hit the concrete surface of the pool. Although she will be okay, Mike and Carol had to pay $5,000 for the medical treatment of Cindy and have filed a $15,000 lawsuit against Jack and Wanda based on a legal theory called “Attractive Nuisance”.

Rule: Attractive Nuisance – The defendant will be held liable for attractive nuisance if he/she knows or has reason to know that children are likely to trespass, the defendant knows or should have known that a dangerous condition exists on his/her property that involves an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to such children, the children because of their youth do not realize (understand) the risk involved and the burden (cost) of eliminating the danger is slight as compared with the risk to children involved.



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