This case involves a ten-year-old boy who was playing at a construction site. A home was being built at the site and there was an excavation with mounds of dirt and a concrete flooring foundation that was visible. Several children had noticed the site and had been playing around the area. While the boy was playing, he forcefully fell to the bottom of an excavation and died as a result of severe bodily injuries. There was no fence or barricade around the excavation and there were no warning signs at the site. The boy’s parents sued the construction company claiming that they were negligent in failing to warn people about the dangers at the site and failing to properly guard the premises.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Can the parents of a child that is injured at a construction site sue the construction company if the company does not barricade the site or provide warnings of dangers at the site?
Expert Witness Response
Cases like this one are commonly known as “attractive nuisance” cases. The law states that someone may be held liable for an injury to a child if they maintain a dangerous condition on land and the condition is likely to attract children who are incapable of understanding the danger in the area. This doctrine applies to homeowners and may also apply in cases like this where a construction company has created a dangerous condition that is likely to attract children. In construction cases, if the construction company has created a dangerous condition and it is foreseeable that a child might get hurt at the construction site, the construction company may be held liable for negligence. In this case, the construction company was probably negligent because they probably knew that children had been playing at the site and they could have foreseen the danger of a fall created by the excavation and mounds of dirt. Since the danger to children was foreseeable, the construction company in this case should have taken proper steps to prevent children from playing there such as installing temporary fencing around the area and only allowing access to the site through a locked gate.