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On The Premises

Duty of an Owner An owner owes no duty to an undiscovered trespasser.
Exceptions If an owner knows that trespassers frequent a limited portion of the property, the owner has a duty to warn of the dangers the trespassers would otherwise not discover.

2. Discovered Trespassers

Definition A particular person who an owner knows or should know is trespassing on the owner’s property.
Duty of an Owner An owner must exercise reasonable care for the person’s safety and warn of any dangers unknown to the person, but known to the owner. While courts agree this is the standard for artificial conditions on the land, the courts are divided as to whether this standard applies to natural conditions.

3. Child Trespassers


Definition Traditionally, a child had to be lured onto the property by an artificial hazard for an owner to be liable, i., the “attractive nuisance doctrine.” Under the modern view, a child-plaintiff must prove: Mnemonic: FRED

i. Frequenting of the area by children is common and the owner knows of their tendency to enter the property. Risks that the children are unable to appreciate makes the condition likely to cause injury; their ability to appreciate the risk is decided by a subjective standard.
iii. Expense of protecting against the injury is slight compared to the risk. Dangerous conditions are present that the owner knows of or should know of.
Duty of an Owner An owner must exercise reasonable care to avoid risks of harm from conditions that are artificial. An owner does not have a duty to protect against natural conditions.

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