A 10-year-old girl was walking home from school one day and decided to take a shortcut through a construction site where new homes were being built. At the site, there was neither a sign nor a fence to seclude the area. Given the girl’s curious personality, she was attracted to the site and admired the machinery — which led to her falling into a hole that was artificially covered with a thin tarp. The tarp would have, in no way, prevented anyone from falling down into the hole. Due to her fall, the girl lost use of both of her legs. Because the construction company had reason to anticipate trespassers, given the school’s close proximity, the large machinery and a stock pond filled with fish in the middle of the planned subdivision.
Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, a landowner is obligated to exercise a duty of ordinary care to avoid foreseeable risk of harm to minors as a result of an artificial condition on the property. The attractive nuisance doctrine was established in the case, R.R. Co. v. Stout, 84 U.S. 657 (U.S. 1874), and requires the following:
- Existence of a dangerous condition in which the owner is aware
- Owner knows or should know children are likely to trespass
- Danger to a child because of the inability to appreciate the risk
- Expense of remedying the situation is minor compared to the gravity of harm that could result if not fixed
Therefore a defendant is liable if a child is attracted by a dangerous condition on the land, if the condition was one for which a child could not comprehend the danger and if the defendant did not take reasonable steps to protect children from the danger. However, a defendant is not liable if it was not reasonably feasible to prevent access to the danger. A Georgia personal injury attorney can guide you through the claim process to help you get compensated for the injury of your child.
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By retaining a lawyer from the Nicholson Phillips, you can acquire information from an experienced attorney who is dedicated to learning a client’s story and providing superior representation. The Marietta office represents clients throughout Fulton County and the surrounding areas who have filed claims.