Lawsuit: Daughter Fell From ‘Thrilling’ Slide, Broke Arm

Updated 04/02/12 – 4:33 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago couple is suing a playground equipment manufacturer, claiming a faulty slide sent their daughter from the playground to the hospital.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, Mark and Linda Jacobs of Chicago addressed reporters at their attorney’s office Monday, about a slide they say was not properly made and caused their daughter to fall.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports

“This slide has a height of 75 inches, which is much taller than what I am,” said attorney Anthony Romanucci. “So you can imagine a fall from the top for a child. It can have devastating consequences.”

Romanucci says the slide caused the Jacobs’ now-7-year-old daughter, Bridy, to suffer a broken arm and emotional distress.

The slide is called the Evos Slalom Glider, and is promoted by its manufacturer, Landscape Structures as “a thrilling ride that promotes balance and coordination.”

Bridy fell off the slide in Sauganash Park, at Rogers and Kostner avenues on the city’s Northwest Side, last June.

Mark Jacobs said the family went to the park all the time, but on that one occasion, something went wrong.

“She had been on it before and didn’t have any problems, but this time, she lost her balance, and it only takes a second,” he said.

Bridy broke her arm in three places, he said.

“Any parent out there that sees that slide should pay attention,” Mark Jacobs said.

The slide was sold to parks and schools between January 2006 and December 2011. The company has since agreed to a voluntary recall.

The slide lacks a platform on the top and does not have sides or handles, causing some children to fall. Children are supposed to straddle the slide as they slide down.

About 900 of the 6-foot slides were sold across the country.

The Jacobs family filed their lawsuit on Friday. The manufacturer of the slide is based in Delano, Minn.

The Jacobs family says they filed suit only after finding out that several other children had been injured on the slide.

“First of all, if your playground has one of these slides, if it hasn’t been removed or sealed off, please make sure the children don’t play on it,” Romanucci said. “Secondly, I think it’s important for parents just to be aware of anything their children do on playgrounds, because just because it’s at a playground doesn’t mean it’s safe.”

Romanucci is also representing another family from Elmhurst who allege that their daughter broke her femur last April when she fell off the slide.

Both lawsuits are claiming about $7,500 each for the injuries.

The CPSC injury reports say that 16 children age 8 or under suffered injuries, including 14 fractures to arms and legs, one fractured collar bone, one bruised spleen, and one bruised arm, CBS Minnesota reported.

The Sauganash Park slide has been taken down.

Landscape Structures Inc. declined to comment on the lawsuits.

“Our utmost concern is for the safety of children,” the company said in an email. “We are working in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the voluntary recall of the Slalom Glider due to concerns regarding falls. LSI is no longer selling the Slalom Glider.”

  • franz

    Usually take the opinion on these types of suits that people are just trying to make a buck but in this case since the slide was removed for safety reasons and the amount is reasonable I say they deserve it.

    Having a 7 yr old in a cast for the summer causes them to miss out a lot and causes the parents extra effort and once kids get afraid of something they often can take a long time to overcome it-plus if the kid landed on her head or fractured her neck it could have been a lot worse.

    Insurance-Pay Up!



  • hanz

    Lyndia (who always seems to post along with yard ape, goldberg, g-lep etc-I think you are all the same person-maybe different personalities though)

    1) You know what happens when a bus gets into an accident in the Douglas Park or Washington Park hoods-Anybody who is standing nearby runs to the bus and gets on and EVERYBODY goes to the hospital-nuff said on that!

    2) If these slides were installed in those parks there would have been no need to remove them-the ghetto trash Travon’s would have wrecked it the first day it was open

  • Joe McGuan CPSI

    Playground equipment as well as ANY manufactured product can only be designed to minimize injury not eliminate it. There are too many variables, especially in play, that create risk. Unfortunately the fact of the matter is children at play will be injured. It is inherent to the adventurous nature of play and children.
    The component in is NOT set at any “devastating” height. By appearance of the photo the play surface of the component is less than the 75″ indcated by the attorney and falls well within Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) guidelines for play accessibility.
    The issue that the attorney should be concerned with is NOT the fall height BUT the height relative to depth of the resilient surfacing below the equipment. The impact attenuation of what appears to be rubber surfacing is the issue. Does the depth (thickness) comply with the requirements to prevent life threatening injuries due to falls? Even the surfacing is only designed to minimize fatal injuries, nothing can totally prevent injuries.
    The 75″ the representing attorney indicates is probably the top of the safety railing along the sides of the component and is not a designated play surface and designed to discourage the use of it as such.
    The article states that the component in question is one of 900 of the 6′ slides sold across the country. If that is the length of the slide then the there is no way the that height of the top of the slide could be 75″. That would make the pitch of the slide angle almost 90 degrees…or straight down.
    If there were 16 injuries of children under 8 reported by CPSC on 900 ‘slides’ sold across the country by this ONE manufacturer that would represent less than 2%. Hardly a case for an ‘unsafe’ design. If you add to the 900 the ‘slides’ of this design by OTHER manufactures that percentage would be substantial less.
    Furthermore, the component itself is not really classified as a SLIDE according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines and as such does not fall under the specific guidelines that the attorney is quoting as his complaint.
    The attorney’s assertion that ‘just because it’s at a playground doesn’t mean it’s safe’ is grandstanding and ill informed. The testing preformed by playground manufacturers, especially this manufacturer, is extensive and thorough and the process is audited EVERY year by an industry approved outside source.
    In closing, safety on playground is of the utmost importance to playground manufacturers, especially THIS manufacturer. Manufacturers, especially those that are IPEMA CERTIFIED are required to test their equipment for safety but the best anyone can do is to substantially reduce the risk of injury. They will even tell you that you cannot ensure that children will not get injured on playgrounds…even if you removed all the equipment and left just the “soft’ surfacing under it.

  • I'm with you.

    What it needs is a parents supervision.where was the parent’s.?nothing against the mom and dad.we call it in America an opportunies.

  • AmericanGirl

    Enough is enough with this ridiculous lawsuits! People get hurt every day whether it’s on a sled hill or playground equipment. Play at your own risk. This country would be a much nicer place without all the frivolous lawsuits. Stop making the lawyers richer. Frivolous Lawsuits = tied up courtrooms = wasted taxpayer dollars = richer lawyers.

  • marc(proud black man)

    Everybody thinking this family for suing is wrong is plain full of it!! If anyone of our children got hurt we we would do the same exact thing.Yes, every time we climb out of bed we’re risking some form of injury, it’s part of life.But let’s not be so high and mighty to think if one of our kids was injured we wouldn’t be doing the same thing!!!

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