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A Chicago couple has filed a lawsuit against Landscape Structures, a playground equipment manufacturer, alleging that their daughter broke her arm because of a defective playground slide. The lawsuit claims the six-foot-high Evos Slalom Glider lacked a platform on the top and does not have sides or handles, causing some children to fall. Unlike most slides, children are supposed to straddle the Slalom Glider as they slide down.

Before tort reformers start crying “frivolous lawsuit” it is important to note:

  • The family filed the lawsuit only after learning that several other children had been previously injured on the same slide.
  • The lawsuit is seeks only $7,500, the cost of medical treatment for the injuries sustained.
  • The CPSC reports 16 injuries from the slide, including 14 fractures to arms and legs, one fractured collar bone, one bruised spleen, and one bruised arm.
  • Landscape Structures issued a recall of the slide on February 16 and is no longer selling the Slalom Glider. The company is also paying to replace the glider with another piece of playground equipment, issuing a full refund or offering a credit towards future purchase,

According to the CPSC, 200,000 children, yearly, are injured on playground equipment. These are not insignificant scrapes and bruises; they are serious injuries – fractures, concussions, broken bones, amputations, and more. Is “fun” worth the risk of these types of injuries?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spends nothing to help make products safer; it does spend millions lobbying in favor of wrong-doers, creating the impression that trial lawyers and injury victims are bad for business. In truth, trial lawyers and lawsuits make all of us safer; lawyers are often the only ones on the front lines, continuously fighting for our rights and our safety. It is because of lawsuits that playground equipment has undergone major positive safety changes in the last several years. Lawsuits and lawsuit damages are our last defense against dangerous products and those corporate interests who value profits over safety.

Tort reform (a pro-business, anti-citizen, effort to limit or eliminate liability and/or damages in negligence lawsuits) prevents corporate America from being held accountable for its callous disregard for safety or for its carelessness and/or negligence. It is time to fight these pro-business, pro-profit, interests in favor of citizen safety and for the safety of your loved ones.

Mark Bello has thirty-five years experience as a trial lawyer and thirteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Mississippi, Connecticut, Texas, and Tennessee Associations for Justice, and Consumers Attorneys of California, member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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