Landowner Liability for Trespassing Children

Published by: The Ohio State University Extension

Written by:
Robert Moore
Extension Associate

Peggy Kirk Hall
Director, Agricultural & Rural Law Program
Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy

Ohio’s New Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

Children often stray onto property without permission, attracted by an enticing condition such as a swimming pool, machinery, or an abandoned building. If a trespassing child suffers harm when drawn to an enticing condition, is the landowner liable? A new law in Ohio could allocate liability to the landowner, under certain circumstances. The “attractive nuisance doctrine” places a duty upon landowners to protect foreseeable child trespassers from dangerous conditions on the ownerʼs property. This recent change in Ohio law creates new liability concerns for landowners. The following explains the attractive nuisance doctrine and suggests actions a landowner can take to limit potential harm to children from dangerous conditions on the property, and also limit the possibility of legal liability for such harm...Download full article here




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