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In the summer of 2006 the Aleo family went to Andover for a family get-together. Robin Aleo, husband Michael, and 18-month-old daughter were seeing an aunt. Little did they know that this would be the scene of Robin’s tragic accident that would lead to her death.
Robin Aleo and her family were swimming in the aunt’s pool. In that pool was a Toys ‘R’ Us product called the Banzai Falls Slide from Toyquest. Robin went to the top of the six foot high slide and began sliding down headfirst. Near the bottom the inflatable slide caved in causing Robin to hit her head.
The accident resulted in a broken neck and left the 29-year-old mother paralyzed and unable to breathe. She was taken to the hospital, but due to her injuries, was taken off of life support and died the following day.
The incident was called a case of wrongful death and taken to court. Investigations found the slide had not been tested thoroughly for standards of safety regulations. Jurors were also told the slide went through other tests and failed. Once it failed for exceeding the limit of lead allowed in a product according to federal regulations.
Toys ‘R’ Us lawyers argued that as an inflatable product the regulations did not apply to the Banzai Falls Slide. The company denies any responsibility for safety testing on this product.
Under the safety standards, all pool slides are supposed to support a maximum weight of 350 pounds, which the Banzai Falls Slide failed to do.
Other companies named in the suit were Amazon.com, where the slide had been purchased, and the manufacturers for SLB Toys USA. Both companies settled for an undisclosed amount.
In the end, Toys ‘R’ Us was ordered to pay Michael Aleo $20.6 million dollars for the wrongful death.