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Recalled, defective pool slide causes death and severe injuries

Federal product safety officials have announced a recall of approximately 21,000 inflatable water slide toys after learning that the product led to the death of a 29-year-old mother who suffered a fractured neck using one of the products. Other severe reports of injury have been reported, all stemming from a design defect in the slide.

The problem is that the slides have a tendency to deflate while being used. This proves to be a serious problem when Louisiana residents slide down it, as they can strike their heads on the ground or the lip of a pool. Many people have suffered serious neck injuries and at least one person has died, in part because the surfaces their necks and heads hit were hard. The product also sometimes simply falls over and the instructions and warnings do not adequately advise consumers of these problems.

The product may seem somewhat innocuous, as it just a child's inflatable slide and would have been purchased at a reputable store. But purchasers are urged not to use the slide and return it. Both Toys R Us and Wal-Mart sold the item and it is likely that many of these slides have been purchased in Louisiana. Both companies have agreed to work with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in encouraging consumers to return the product because of the known safety hazards.

In addition to the woman who died from striking her head on the concrete edge of a pool when the device deflated, at least two other people suffered serious injuries. In one case, a woman fractured her neck while attempting to use the slide. In the other, a 24-year-old man became quadriplegic after his neck also broke.

Swimming season is just getting started in Louisiana and the thought that children and adults may be injured or killed by this product is horrifying. Whenever a consumer is hurt by a product with a design defect, the manufacturer may be held responsible for putting a dangerous product on the market.

Source: CNN, "Reported death, severe neck injuries prompt recall of pool slide," Todd Sperry, May 10, 2012

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