A schoolgirl was left with horrific facial injuries after a slide allegedly toppled on top of her ‘because a toy firm supplied the wrong instructions’.
Izzy Lawton had reportedly been playing on the slide in her back garden with three-year-old brother Alex when it began to tip over.
Her dad claims that the nine-year-old managed to push her sibling out of the way before ‘taking the full brunt’ of the eight stone Warsaw Wooden Wavy Slide.
Now, 42-year-old Leigh Lawton is suing American-based manufacturer Little Tikes over the horror accident on May 20.
After the incident, Izzy was rushed to hospital ‘covered in blood’.
She suffered three major and four minor fractures around her eye socket and down the side of her nose.
Shocking pictures show the horrendous swelling around the schoolgirl’s face following the incident in the family’s garden in Stoke-on-Trent.
Izzy also underwent complex surgery through her mouth to push her bones back into place and will need to visit hospital until adulthood.
Leigh says he followed the instructions inside the box by securing the 5ft slide into the lawn by using metal spikes.
But the dad-of-three claims he later found out the slide was sold with the wrong instructions and is now taking legal action against the popular toy manufacturer.
He said: ‘The instructions that came with slide told me to anchor the slide to the grass with metal spikes, which I did.
‘However, after the accident we were told that the slide should have been set in concrete and left to dry for 48 hours – we had been given the wrong ones.
‘Izzy’s accident was extremely traumatic, there was a lot of screaming and blood, but thankfully an ambulance came straight away.
‘This meant she was very quickly given X-Rays and CT scans, and thoroughly checked over to ensure there was no brain injury or bleeding on the brain.
‘The specialists said the slide must have hit her with some force because children have soft bones and they normally wouldn’t have broken.
‘In fact, we were told they had only seen this type of injury once before and that had been from a car accident.
‘It wasn’t until the swelling went down, that we were told Izzy had three major and four minor fractures around her eye socket and down the side of her nose.
‘A week later, she underwent a complex operation where surgeons went through her mouth to push all her bones back into place.
‘Although she is healing, she won’t be discharged from the hospital until she’s an adult as the specialist must check her progress as she grows.
‘Just one of the things that affects her is that she can’t wear her glasses as they hurt her nose too much, which makes schoolwork and homework a challenge.
‘The accident has been really distressing for the rest of the family, in fact, when it happened, her little brother went into shock.
‘As the person who put up the slide, I was also devastated, but I followed the instructions correctly and if I’d been told to fix the slide into concrete, I would have done that, it would have been easy.’
Leanne Rowley, partner at Express Solicitors, who is representing the family, said: ‘We’re working with Izzy’s family to bring a claim against Little Tikes.
‘The top and bottom of it is that all of this pain, stress and trauma could have been avoided if the right instructions been inside the box.
‘Izzy’s father, Leigh Lawton, complained to Little Tikes, post-accident, over the phone.
‘Little Tikes read the instructions out to him and it became apparent that Leigh had the wrong ones so Little Tikes then asked him to send them in, which Izzy’s father did, but before he sent them to Little Tikes he took a photograph of them.
‘Our copy of the instructions says to peg in the slide but later instructions say it should be concreted, so we were given the wrong instructions or the instructions were later changed and concrete should have been advised in the first place.’
A spokesperson for Little Tikes said: ‘All our products go through a rigorous testing process and meet all required regulations.
‘Safety is our number one priority at Little Tikes and we are completely satisfied that the Warsaw Slide passes all regulations.’
Source : metro.co.uk