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Attractive Nuisance May Be More Than A Nuisance To Liable Homeowners

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Do you have to be drunk to find a nuisance attractive? Well it helps.

A man found a crane unattended at a construction site in China and decided to scale it. Did I mention he was drunk and, it turned out, as he sobered up, afraid of heights? So he got himself stuck 40 feet in the air.

It's a known fact that alcohol makes people look more attractive; apparently it does the same to hazards on a property which, with or without alcohol, pose a real danger.

In the US, there is a legal principle called an attractive nuisance. Nope, it's not the drunk at the party who dares you to do something dangerous. It's the dangerous condition on a property - like an unenclosed swimming pool or a dumped refrigerator, an open safe, or apparently a construction crane - so interesting to a child that it would tend to lure a child to investigate.

So if you know that your property has an attractive nuisance on it, you need to get it fixed because you can be sued for it if a child - even one who is trespassing - gets hurt by it.

Whether a drunk acrophobic who should know better on every level could sue you remains to be seen.

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