Have you noticed that fewer and fewer pools are built with diving boards or slides in recent years? Verdicts like this may be a big reason why. The family of Robin Aleo brought suit against Toys R’ Us in Massachusetts because Ms. Aleo suffered fatal head injuries when an inflatable pool slide collapsed in 2006. A jury awarded the family $20 million in damages, and a Massachusetts Superior Court recently upheld the award. This case involved an inflatable slide that collapsed, rendering Toys R’ Us and the manufacturer as potentially liable parties. Diving boards and stationary slides, however, require contractors to install them, and the risk of potential suits seem to be outweighing the benefit of compensation for many contractors. The result is fewer diving boards. Ironically, one can surmise that the decreased use of diving boards may have created the impetus for Toys R’ Us to sell the inflatable slide that collapsed here. Risk can be mitigated, not eliminated.
Thanks to Brian Gibbons for his contribution to this post.