The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced a recall of roughly 21,000 inflatable water slides. One person has died, and several more have suffered disabling injuries, because of a defective condition in the slides' design or assembly. The slide, which sits on the side of a swimming pool so users can slide into the water, can suddenly deflate or topple while in use. Both Wal-Mart and Toys R Us are reportedly cooperating with the CPSC in announcing and facilitating the recall. The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection is also assisting with the recall.
The recalled product is a “Banzai in-ground pool water slide” manufactured by Manley Toys, Ltd. in China. Wal-Mart and Toys R Us sold the slide for $250 from January 2005 through June 2009 in stores around the country. The pool inflates to a height of six feet, and is designed for use with in-ground pools. Once inflated, a hose connects to the top of the slide so water can run down the slide's surface. It has the words “Banzai Splash” on either side with a wave-shaped logo in blue, orange, and white. The CPSC urges consumers to cease use of the product immediately. Wal-Mart and Toys R Us stores are accepting returns and offering full refunds.
A Colorado woman, 29 year-old Robin Aleo, suffered a fatal injury using one of the slides while visiting relatives in Andover, Massachusetts. On July 29, 2006, she began to slide down head-first, when the slide suddenly deflated. She hit her head on the edge of the pool, which broke her neck and paralyzed her. The injury left her unable to breathe on her own, and she died in the hospital the next day.
The following case is successfully handled in Connecticut courts by Attorney Levin.