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Does Maryland recognize the attractive nuisance doctrine?

As spring approaches, your kids will often be more anxious about being able to resume their warm-weather outdoor activities. As a parent, you want them to participate in everything that Rockville has to offer; at the same time, you may worry that their lack of experience and comprehension might lead them into dangerous situations. Swimming pools, construction sites and canals are all examples of dangerous attractions that may entice your kids. Your hope is that the owners of the properties on which such attractions are found will do what is necessary to restrict access to them, or that you will legal recourse to act if they fail to do so. 

The attractive nuisance doctrine allows liability to be assigned to property owners who fail to protect children from any dangerous attractions found on their land. The basis of this principle is the assumption that children lack the understanding needed to recognize these attractions as being dangerous. Maryland, however, is one of the few states that does not subscribe to the attractive nuisance doctrine. The state holds property owners to no higher duty of care to small children than they do adults. 

This does not necessarily mean, however, that the state does see the need to assign liability to property owners for their negligent actions. The state's appellate courts have been on the record as stating that property owners can be held liable for injuries their attractive nuisances cause in places where children have a right to be. For example, if a friend asks you to store some heavy equipment on your property, yet does nothing to restrict your children's access to it while it is there, they could be liable if your kids play on it and are injured. 

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