What is the attractive nuisance doctrine?

As a parent in Waco, it is your job to worry about your kids. You understand that outside your doors are a number of things that can cause them harm. You hope that they will recognize any dangers that they encounter, yet because of their inexperience, they may not fully grasp the risks that certain elements pose. The expectation, then, is that those adults who have control over those elements will assist you in protecting your kids from them. Yet does that expectation (or more specifically, a failure to fulfill it) equate to liability

The Cornell Law School states that the attractive nuisance doctrine assigns the responsibility of protecting children from potentially dangerous artificial conditions to the owners of the properties on which those conditions reside. The justification for this is that property owners should expect that children (young children in particular) lack the understanding to fully comprehend the dangers that the conditions pose. This responsibility remains in place even if your child accesses a dangerous condition without the property owner’s permission. 

Say that you have a neighbor that owns a swimming pool, and your young child wanders into their yard and falls into the pool and is injured (or worse). The attractive nuisance doctrine allows you o hold your neighbor liable for not protecting your child from the pool, despite knowing that the attraction of the pool might override any hesitancy that a child might feel for getting into it. If, however, your neighbor erected a fence around the pool (or had physically restricted its access by some other means), then they may be absolved of liability. 

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