As a consumer safety advocate and water slide accident attorney, I have become extraordinarily concerned over the last few years with manufacturing and design defects involving inflatable amusements.
Recently, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled an inflatable pool slide. Approximately 21,000 Banzai in-ground pool water slides were recalled. The devices were sold by Walmart Stores and Toys R Us Inc., which have offered full refunds for slides that are returned.
Just like many other inflatables, the CPSC determined that the slides were defective and could deflate suddenly, allowing the user to violently crash to the ground. Additionally, the CPSC found that the slide was unstable and could topple over both in still and windy conditions.
The incident leading to the recall of the inflatable sliding board involved the death of Robin Aleo, the mother of an 18-month old girl who climbed to the top of a 6 foot high Banzai water slide and started sliding down head first and when she neared the bottom, the slide deflated. The young mother then struck her head on the edge of the pool resulting in a broken neck. She was paralyzed and unable to breathe and died the following day at a Boston hospital.
A lawsuit was commenced against Toys R Us and the jury returned a $20.6 million dollar verdict after deliberating less than an hour according to published reports.
Additionally, the CPSC claims to know of two other cases involving a 24-year old man from Springfield, Missouri who became a quadriplegic and a woman from Allentown, PA who fractured her neck after inflatable slide deflations.
The recalled inflatable slides were manufactured in China by Manley Toys and were sold at Walmart and Toys R Us in January 2005 through 2009 and were priced at approximately $250.00.
Reiff & Bily, a Pennsylvania injury law firm committed to consumer and amusement safety, is experienced in the field of swimming pool accidents and drowning, as well as amusement and inflatable accidents. Our lawyers always offer a free, no obligation consultation toll free at (800) 421-9595 or online at www.reiffandbily.com.