Ponds & Legal Liability in Ohio

Published by: The Ohio State University Extension

Written by:
Peggy Kirk Hall

Director of Agricultural & Rural Law Program
Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy

Robert Moore
Extension Associate
Agricultural & Rural Law Program

Gary Graham
Natural Resources Specialist
OSU Extension

Introduction
Liability is often a big concern for those who have a pond on their property, giving rise to many questions. Does a pond create additional liability concerns? Should a landowner take precautions to prevent access to a pond? What if a child trespasses and drowns in a pond?

In Ohio, the answers to these questions depend generally upon whether the landowner met his legal “duty of care” to the person harmed by the pond. This fact sheet explains the factors affecting a landownerʼs legal duty of care to pond visitors. It also discusses how a landowner can fulfill this legal duty and how to manage a pond to prevent or limit liability for harm to visitors…Download full article here

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