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10 Most Common Attractive Nuisances

        Culture | Lawsuits

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Holes in the Ground
Drainage ditches and other holes in the ground are dangerous places to play.
Drainage ditches and other holes in the ground are dangerous places to play.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Drainage ditches, excavation trenches, sewer drains, wells, cisterns, holding tanks, quarries and other open pits have all been the focus of attractive nuisance cases over the years. The courts generally view these hazards as a distinct subset, separate from natural and artificial lakes, ponds or retention basins.

In one case in Kansas City, Mo., a 6-year-old boy drowned after falling into a settlement tank that was part of the sewage treatment facility in the mobile home park where he lived [source: Delaware Law Weekly]. The court ruled for the family of the boy, finding that although there was a high fence around the tank, the property owner had stacked a pile of cinderblocks against the fence in stairway-like fashion, creating an easy means of access for even a small child. Inside the fence, the tank itself was entirely uncovered and "resembled a swimming pool" 25 feet (7.6 meters) long, 11 feet (3.4 meters) wide and 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) deep.


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