Legal issues pool owners must know for this summer

Posted at 6:02 PM, May 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 19:27:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Amanda Luckett and her fiancé, Nathan, woke up to find a surprise on Memorial Day. 

"I come out my back door here and there's a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old just having the time of their life in my pool. Scared the lights out of me," Luckett told 41 Action News.

The little boy and girl biked from their home on 91st Terrace down James A. Reed Road and right into Luckett's backyard.

"I was thinking just with a fenced in area we would be pretty safe, you know, no trespassing, but unfortunately that wasn't the case here," Luckett said.

She called the police.

"They could have caught their foot on the ladder, fell on this -- this is steel, by the way -- it's very hard and they could have hit their head," Luckett said. "This could have boiled into such a much more serious situation." 

It didn't, but Luckett wants this to be a learning opportunity for other homeowners.

Even if a child isn't invited to a property to use the pool and something happens to him or her, the pool owners can be liable.

In the legal world, it's called the "attractive nuisance" theory, which says if an individual owns something dangerous but attractive to kids on their property, they need to take measures to secure it.

This is why insurance companies like State Farm require pools or the yards in which they are housed to be fenced. 

They also encourage homeowners to work with their insurance agent on appropriate coverage in case the unimaginable happens. 

Since the incident, Luckett has removed the pool's ladder and padlocked the fence to her backyard and that's not all. 

"We're going to go ahead and get a couple of private property signs to put up on each end of the property here and on the pool so that way it's just well stated that there's absolutely no trespassing because I can't be here every minute," Luckett said.