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Toy store ordered to pay millions in products liability suit

A jury recently ruled that a popular toy store franchise failed to examine the safety of one of the products in its store, and was to blame for the fatal injury that the product caused. The store was ordered to pay $20.6 million in a recent products liability lawsuit that was filed by the family of a woman who died when sliding down an inflatable pool slide that ultimately collapsed.

The fatal accident occurred five years ago, when a 29-year-old mother of one was using the 6-foot high Banzai Falls inflatable pool slide during a pool party at a relative's home. The woman was sliding down the slide head first when the bottom of the device partially collapsed, causing her hit her head on the side of the pool.

The impact of the collision broke the woman's neck and left her unable to breathe as she fell into the pool. She was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, but she died the next day.

The products liability suit filed by the woman's husband claimed that the toy retailer failed to properly test the product to ensure that it held up to federal safety regulations. Federal law specifies that all retailers examine their products before they hit the shelves. The jury agreed, ordering Toys "R" Us to pay over $20 million in damages. The Chinese manufacturer of the product and Amazon.com, which partnered with the toy store to sell the slide, settled with the husband for an undisclosed amount.

The fatal accident was not an isolated incident. A former camp counselor was involved in a similar accident that left him a quadriplegic. He is suing Wal-Mart, where he purchased the toy.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: Eagle-Tribune, "$20.6M award in pool slide death," Julie Manganis, Oct. 15, 2011

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