The summer months are quickly approaching as the weather begins to warm. People of all ages are again enjoying the outdoors. With this comes a drastic increase in outdoor injuries. One such incident recently stood out here in California. In Stockton, California, a 5-year-old boy died at an area hospital Friday following an apparent drowning at a Stockton home. Police were called to a home in the 8000 block of Dianna Marie Drive at about 10:30 a.m., when the boy was found in a neighbor’s pool. The boy allegedly wandered away from his home and entered his neighbor’s property. The boy’s neighbor was unaware of the boy entering his property.
Attractive Nuisance no Longer Recognized in California
The aforementioned story is tragic. The parents of the young boy may have a valid claim against the neighbor for their loss. This is true even though California no longer recognizes the “attractive nuisance” doctrine. Attractive nuisance makes a property owner liable for having a dangerous and attractive condition to curious children. Per the doctrine, the dangerous condition, such as an unguarded swimming pool, must not be dangerous enough to cause personal injury to trespassing children. The property owner could be found liable even if the child trespassed onto the property. In an attractive nuisance state, the children’s family must establish lack of appreciation of the risk involved in coming onto the property and the burden of proving that the property owner could feasibly eliminate the dangerous condition.
Yet, as mentioned above, California no longer recognizes this doctrine. All is not lost for the child or his or her parents, however. The abolishing of attractive nuisance in California occurred in 1970. The Court held that since California eliminated the traditional invitee, licensee, and trespasser rule, then attractive nuisance no longer applies in California because it is an exception to the trespasser status. Nevertheless, eliminating this rule only eliminated the burden of the child proving lack of appreciation of the risk involved and the feasibility of the property owner eliminating the dangerous condition. Instead, the foreseeability applies. Thus, the property owner may be liable if it is found that foresaw or reasonably should have foreseen that children would be attracted onto his property and sustain injury. Therefore, property owners should take reasonable steps in preventing injuries on his or her property. For instance, swimming pools should remain guarded against entry.
Take Action and Hire an Attorney for Your Case
If you or a loved one sustained an injury while on another’s property, it is imperative that you hire an experienced premises liability attorney to best protect your interests. You may be entitled to substantial compensation. The premises liability attorneys at the Law Office of Patrick G. Shea APC are here for you. Our lawyers have been representing injured people throughout San Diego and Southern California since 1999 and have recovered compensation for our clients in excess of $50 million. Reach out to us for a FREE consultation. If your case demands legal action, we will aggressively advocate on your behalf and you will owe us nothing unless we win.