In part one of this series the Alabama personal injury lawyers of the Gartlan Injury Law were addressing a premise liability lawsuit that had been filed in the circuit court with a jury demand on behalf of an Alabama minor child that was injured by an artificial condition while was trespassing on the land of a neighbor. The Dothan, Alabama personal injury lawyers of the Gartlan Injury Law will continue this series to a conclusion in this edition. We invite you to continue to follow along and hope you enjoy it and learn from it.
The Restatement (Second) of Torts § 339 (1965) states:
(a) the place where the condition exists is one upon which the possessor knows or has reason to know that children are likely to trespass, and
(b) the condition is one of which the possessor 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, and
(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, and
(d) the utility to the possessor of maintaining the condition and the burden of eliminating the danger are slight as compared with the risk to children involved, and
(e) the possessor fails to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise to protect the children.
Alabama Courts used to have a 14-year old age limitation in determining the duty of care owed to trespassing minors, but this limitation was rejected in Lyle v. Bouler, 547 So.2d 506, 507 (Ala. 1989). Recovery is less likely as the age of the child increase. Id at 508. However, the factors that should be examined are 1) the intelligence of the child 2) the capacity of the child to understand the potential danger of the hazard 3) the child’s actual knowledge of the danger 4) the child’s ability to exercise discretion 5) the education level of the child 6) the maturity of the child and 7) the age. Id.
Trespassers are people who are present on the property without the knowledge or permission of the owner or occupier. Owners owe a greater duty of care to children who trespass if the danger has been created by the owner or occupier.
The personal injury attorneys of the Gartlan Injury Law are honored and privileged to stand with and shepherd good hard working people through these difficult times and provide a shield when necessary and throw a stone when appropriate.
Aaron Gartlan is a graduate of Troy University and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law who focuses his practice exclusively on representing those injured by the wrongdoing of others. He is member of the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In addition to his legal practice, Aaron teaches Business Law as an adjunct instructor at Troy University’s Sorrell College of Business and serves as a field artillery sergeant in the Alabama National Guard.