Attractive Nuisance Doctrine and Minnesota Law
Attractive Nuisance Doctrine:
The Cookes have a private swimming pool in their backyard within a 5′ wooden fence and gate that is closed with a latch at the top. The family next door (Anderson) have a 2-year old son, who has played in the pool before and enjoys splashing with the Cookes’ dog who spent most of his time within the swimming enclosure. The pool is completely covered except for a small corner left open for the dog. Upon noticing their son was missing, the Andersons began looking for him. A 15-year old neighbor (Phil) was called to assist in removing the pool blanket. When he didn’t answer, the Cookes and Andersons began pulling back the pool blanket. The two boys were in the deep end of the pool and after being pulled out, could not be revived. Mr. Cooke remembered opening the gate earlier while he was working around the pool. The 2-year old may have fallen into the deep end of the pool while chasing the dog. The 15-year old apparently jumped in to rescue the boy and became disoriented and couldn’t get out from under the pool blanket.
1. Research the problem.
2. List the citations to any relevant legal resources.
3. Using the research, answer the following questions:
a. Does the State of Minnesota follow the attractive nuisance doctrine and, if so, how does it apply to swimming pools?
b. Can the Andersons hold the Cookes responsible for their 2-year old son’s death?
c. What duty did the Cookes owe the 15-year old and can the parents hold the Cookes liable?