https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnoqiV2ysnkAn inflatable pool slide designed for use with in-ground pools is subject to a nationwide recall, according to a recent announcement by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The pool slide, described as a “Banzai in-ground pool water slide,” poses a risk of injury to users because of sudden deflation and instability. At least one person died from injuries sustained when a slide deflated suddenly, and several more suffered severe neck injuries.
The pool slide has a blue base and a yellow slide. It has the words “Banzai Splash” on either side in a wave-shaped orange, blue, and white logo. The slide inflates to a height of six feet. A hose can attach to the top of the slide so water runs down the slide surface. It is designed to sit on the side of an in-ground pool, so users can slide into the water. This pool slide model was sold nationwide at Wal-Mart and Toys R Us stores between January 2005 and June 2009, with a typical retail price of $250. Hong Kong- based Manley Toys manufactured the slides in China. Toys R Us and Wal-Mart have agreed to accept returns of the product and will provide a full refind.
Federal pool slide safety standards require a slide to be able to support at least 350 pounds without any deformation. The recalled slide reportedly deforms under considerably less weight. This may cause the air in the slide’s base to displace, making the slide unstable. It could tip over or even deflate as a result. The slide allegedly did not undergo sufficient safety tests when it was imported to the United States.
A 29 year-old Colorado woman, Robin Aleo, died when a slide deflated underneath her. She was visiting friends in Massachusetts on July 29, 2006 when she went head-first down the slide towards the pool. The slide deflated, causing her to hit her head on the pool’s edge. The fall broke her neck, leaving her paralyzed and unable to breathe. She was rushed to a Boston hospital, but her condition quickly worsened. She died the next day.
Aleo’s family sued Toys R Us and Amazon.com, alleging products liability and negligence by the defendants for failing to properly test the product for compliance with federal safety standards. The family went to trial against Toys R Us. Lawyers for Toys R Us acknowledged that the company did not perform safety tests specific to federal pool slide regulations, but that the regulations did not apply to inflatable slides. They also argued that Aleo was negligent for sliding head-first. The jury deliberated for roughly one hour, then awarded the family $20.6 million in damages.
Other injuries attributable to the slide include a Missouri man who suffered a similar injury while using the slide. He survived, but was rendered quadriplegic by the fall. A Pennsylvania woman fractured her neck when a slide deflated under her.
The Washington, DC injury lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen help people injured due to faulty, defective, or dangerous products to recover their just compensation. For a free and confidential consultation, contact us today online or at (800) 654-1949.
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Video credit: ‘Wal-Mart, Toys R Us recall Banzai pool water slide after woman’s death,’ via YouTube.