We enjoy mocking Banzai and their tendency to put wildly inaccurate photographs of their products on the boxes. But another wild inaccuracy led to tragedy in Massachusetts in 2006, when a 29-year-old mother went headfirst down an inflatable waterslide that collapsed. She broke her neck and later died as a result of the injuries. The jury deliberated for less than an hour before awarding her survivors $20.6 million–and they weren’t even allowed to hear about the other person allegedly paralyzed by a similar injury while using the same product.
Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations for home water slides are strict, requiring that they support up to 350 pounds. The victim in this case weighed under 150 pounds. Toys ‘R’ Us lawyers argued that CPSC regulations shouldn’t apply to an inflatable slide, even one designed for use with an in-ground pool.
The slide had been purchased from Toys ‘R’ Us through Amazon.com, and the family settled out of court with both Amazon and the product’s manufacturer. The family’s attorney told reporters that they hope the verdict sends a message to retailers and importers about the need “to make sure, not just for toys but for all products, that they comply with our laws and that they are safe.”
$20.6M award in pool slide death [Eagle-Tribune]