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Pool Death Claim results in €15.8m award

The family of a woman who sustained horrific injuries and subsequently died after an inflatable pool slide “bottomed out” has been awarded €15.8m in a pool death claim by a judge in Salem, Massachusetts.

Robin Aleo (29) from Boston, Massachusetts, was enjoying a day by her relative’s swimming pool in July 2006 when she attempted to go down the slide into the pool where her husband and daughter were playing. As she came to the bottom of the inflatable slide, it “bottomed out”, causing her to hit her head on the pool decking.

Robin was rushed to hospital with a fractured neck and was put on life support in a quadriplegic condition. When she showed no signs of recovery, the life support system was turned off and Robin passed away a short time after of her injuries.

Claiming that the slide had been faulty and failed to comply with federal standards for inflatable toys, Robin’s husband took the retailer of the slide – “Toys R Us” – to court in a product liability compensation claim.

In the Salem Superior Court, the jury concurred with argument and found Toys R Us professionally negligent in importing the inflatable slide from China and selling it – both online and in their retail outlets. After a short deliberation, the judge awarded compensatory and punitive damages totalling €15.8m to the family, saying “Although nothing can bring Robin back, this award will help provide some security for the husband and daughter who lost her.”