The parents of a toddler who drowned in a retention pond earlier this year have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owner of the property, alleging negligence for failure to install a fence that would have protected their son and prevented his drowning.
A Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney can explain that these types of cases are what we refer to as premises liability claims. They posit that a property owner owed a duty of care to those who entered that site, failed in that duty and injury or wrongful death ensued.
Normally, this duty of care extends only to lawful guests, which means if someone trespasses on a property, they aren’t owed much of anything (except that the property owner not actively try to hurt them by setting traps, etc.). But this type of case involves a special kind of premises liability claim under what’s known as the attractive nuisance doctrine.
Essentially, F.S. 768.075 holds that landowners generally owe no duty to trespassers under most conditions. One exception is where it pertains to young children if there is a feature on the property likely to attract children, such as a swimming pool or pond. F.S. 823.08 also outlines a number of potential attractive nuisances, such as abandoned iceboxes, clothes dryers and other similar airtight objects in which children might want to play, but would be extremely dangerous. Continue reading