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Does the word retarded mean anything to you?

>For those unfamiliar with the attractive nuisance theory on liability, it says that a property owner may be held liable for injuries to children trespassing on land if the injury is caused by a hazardous object or condition on the land that is likely to attract children, who are unable to appreciate the risk posed by the object or condition. Until recently, the attractive nuisance theory has always been applied to small children who, for instance, get a kick out of landfills with shiny toxic substances that may or may not result in the formation extra digits.

Well, a Pennsylvania federal judge has extended the attractive nuisance doctrine to two 17-year-old boys, who suffered serious burns from catenary wires when they were climbing a parked railroad car. According to the lawsuit, the two near-adult males were skateboarding in parking lots when they decided to climb to the top of a nearby parked railroad car and, subsequently, suffered serious burns when they came within a few inches of a set of 12,000-volt catenary wires - the electric wires that provide power to train engines.

When the damn-near-old-enough-to-enlist-in-the-Army-and-vote young men brought suit against the railroad company, they made an argument based on the attractive nuisance theory (which the trial judge refused to rule out), asserting “that 17-year-old males generally do not have fully mature brains, and as such cannot fully control their impulses or appreciate some risks.”

Hmmm. That kind of makes me wonder why I didn’t try arguing the “attractive nuisance” theory when I was 17, and my girlfriend’s father caught me sneaking into her bedroom in the middle of the night. I mean, what the hell did I know? My brain wasn’t “fully mature” and I certainly couldn’t control my impulses. If you can call electric wires on top of a railroad car an attractive nuisance, what would you call Beth Thomas’ bra strap?

| Comments (1)


Dustin, Exactly what, pray tell, were you doing ? You just proved the point!