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Child Trespassing Personal Injury in MA- “Attractive Nuisance”

Child Trespassing Landowner Liability In Massachusetts what duty do landowner’s owe to persons trespassing on their real property?

No duty is generally owed to adult trespassers except in exceptional circumstances. The general rule in Massachusetts is that landowners are not liable to trespassers except for not acting willfully or wantonly or in reckless disregard of the health and safety of the  child trespasser.  SCHOFIELD vs.  MERRILL, 386 Mass. 244   If a landowner learns of a trespasser who appears to be in peril then a landowner must exercise reasonable  care based on the circumstances at that time. 

What types of condition on real estate in Massachusetts is a landowner subject to liability as a result of a child’s accident?

In MA, a landowner is only liable to child trespassers for maintenance of an artificial condition on their Massachusetts property.

What duty is owed to child trespasser’s in Massachusetts?

The duty owed to a child trespasser in Mass. who is seriously injured or killed on real estate is set forth in Chapter 231 Section 85 q as set forth below. This area of premises liability law is generally known as the attractive nuisance doctrine. The attractive nuisance doctrine posits potential liability for landowner’s as a result of child trespassers injured on land if certain elements are present.

Section 85Q. Any person who maintains an artificial condition upon his own land shall be liable for physical harm to children trespassing thereon if (a) the place where the condition exists is one upon which the land owner knows or has reason to know that children are likely to trespass, (b) the condition is one of which the land owner knows or has reason to know and which he realizes or should realize will involve an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to such children, (c) the children because of their youth do not discover the condition or realize the risk involved in intermeddling with it or in coming within the area made dangerous by it, (d) the utility to the land owner of maintaining the condition and the burden of eliminating the danger are slight as compared with the risk to children involved, and (e) the land owner fails to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise to protect the children. 


What are the seminal cases in Massachusetts covering this particular area of premises liability law in Mass.


2) PHILIP SOULE vs. MASSACHUSETTS ELECTRIC COMPANY  “In 1954, when the plaintiff was eight years old, he climbed up to an electric power substation controlled and operated by the defendant’s predecessor Weymouth Light and Power Company, and was severely injured by coming into contact with a 13,800 volt electrical wire.”

3) Puskey v.Western Massachusetts Electric Co., 21 Mass.App.Ct. 9720


Could a child be comparatively negligent for a premises liability accident causing injury in Massahusetts (MA)?

Yes. “The possible negligence of a child is judged by the standard of behavior expected from a child of like age, intelligence, and experience.” Mann v. Cook, 346 Mass. 174 , 178 (1963)  PHILIP SOULE vs. MASSACHUSETTS ELECTRIC COMPANY  see also  BRIAN MATHIS  vs. MASSACHUSETTS ELECTRIC COMPANY

What types of artificial conditions could constitute an attractive nuisance leading to a premises liability claim in MA?

-Swimming pools

-Koi Ponds

-old refrigerators


-electric lines


If your child is injured in a Massachusetts premises liability or slip and fall then you need to immediately retain a top Massachusetts personal injury lawyer or MA premises liability attorney.  A Massachusetts personal injury attorney will help you get proper compensation as a result of the premises liability or MA slip and fall.



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