An Additional Duty Is Owed to Children
Swimming pools on one’s property should be carefully considered by property owners. Property owners must be especially cautious regarding the protection of all children who enter their property as a guest or even a trespasser. To this point, the “attractive nuisance doctrine” states that property owners are required to exercise extreme care to protect children from potentially hazardous conditions or dangers on their property that may attract children such as swimming pools, trampolines, abandoned appliances, old vehicles, or any other dangerous item or area that children may find intriguing.
Property owners must take sensible steps to deal with the potential hazards by either removing the hazard or hazardous condition from the property altogether or by protecting children from the hazard. For example, a sensible way to deal with an “attractive nuisance” such as a swimming pool would be to secure the pool with a fence and gate that locks.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
Property owners assume liability for both the inside and outside of their premises/property and must maintain both sufficiently. For example, let’s consider a motel or hotel owner. The owner obviously must maintain clean and safe rooms for guests, but the owner is required to also provide upkeep and repairs if needed to the sidewalks and entryways, including the parking area, to ensure guests are properly protected from hazards or potentially dangerous conditions. Annually, some of the more common liability suits involve injuries sustained due to slipping or falling, thus it is important to provide proper upkeep and maintenance to avoid potential liability issues.
A partial list of some common conditions that could trigger a liability case include:
- Uneven sidewalks
- Broken sidewalks
- Insufficient lighting in any area
- Obstructions, objects, or debris on stairways, sidewalks, or within aisles and passageways
- Overflowing or spilled water, or other slippery conditions on floors and/or walkways
- Broken or damaged handrails on stairways or other areas required to have handrails
- Uneven steps that pose a risk for walking or improperly built stairways
- Poor lighting for entryways or in stairwells
- Doors or windows that do not operate properly, that stick or pose a danger