MAINTAINING AN ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE

“How was your ski trip?” you ask.
“It didn’t go well, “ I reply.
“What happened?”
“When we got off the slopes we went to the lodge, and there was an open fire pit with no screen or other protective device.  The cats were cold from being outdoors, and they got too close to the fire.”
“Oh, my God,” you say. “Are they all right?”
“Well, Marlin’s fur got a little singed, and Boris lost a few whiskers,” I reply.
“Oh,” you say.  “That’s not so bad.”
“No,” I say. “The lawsuit will be a lot worse.”
“Lawsuit?” you ask. “What do you mean?”
“We’re suing them, of course.”
“Suing them?” you ask, “What for?”
“Maintaining an attractive nuisance,” I reply.
“What’s an attractive nuisance?” you ask.
“An attractive nuisance,” I say, “is a condition on one’s property that attracts others to a hazard.”
“Gee,” you say, thinking of all the hazards that you have created on your own property, “I guess that’s why people put a fence around a swimming pool.”
“That’s one reason, for sure,” I say.
“Why else would someone do that?” you ask.
“My cats would say to keep out less intelligent beings, like dogs.”

Allen Drescher has practiced law in Ashland and Southern Oregon since 1973.   His practice includes real estate and business law, estate planning and elder law.

© Allen Drescher