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City of Pismo Beach facing two lawsuits after claims of serious injuries from Pier Plaza slides

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Posted at 7:13 PM, Jun 07, 2021

Two people are suing the city of Pismo Beach after reportedly getting injured while going down the Pier Plaza slides.

On June 3, civil trial attorney Jacqueline Frederick filed personal injury lawsuits in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court on behalf of two women who claim they seriously injured their tailbones going down the slides back in the fall of 2020.

“The acceleration going down the slide is a little too fast, a little too steep and there's no soft landing and it causes people to get propelled in the air a little and then boom, land on their tailbones,” Frederick said.

Since opening in September, the Pismo Beach Pier Plaza Slides have brought joy to many who visit.

“It's awesome. My little niece loves it. She's probably gone down it five times already and we will probably keep going down it,” tourist Earvin Gonzalez said.

However, for Tara Rodman and Karlee Hayden, the experience reportedly left them in distress.

In the lawsuit, Frederick claims the injuries caused the women "wage loss and loss of earning capacity" as well as "emotional distress, physical hardship and loss of enjoyment of life."

“They are still having a lot of problems with their backs including pain radiating down their legs,” Frederick said. “Those types of injuries are notorious to treat and take a long time to heal."

Universal Precast Concrete, INC., RRM Design Group, and Vernon Edwards Constructors INC. are also named as defendants in the complaint, alleged to have made a defective and unsafe product.

“Did the contractor follow the specifications of the designer? Maybe there was a deviation from where it was designed,” Frederick said.

She claims the city knew the risk of injury but did not take steps to warn the public, adding in the lawsuit they "failed to, inspect and supervise the premises to determine whether dangerous conditions existed, and to take adequate measures to protect."

“It's hard to know and I won't know completely until we conduct discovery how much they knew and when they found out and whether people had reported it to them,” Frederick added.

The slides temporarily closed last October but reopened a month later.

Back then, city leaders said the slides were closed for routine maintenance but would not comment on the safety.

Currently, there are two signs posted near the area saying the slides are designed for kids ages 5 to 12, falls may result in serious injury, and to use at your own risk.

Frederick and her clients are looking for monetary compensation to help pay for some outstanding and ongoing medical bills.

The law office is in the process of serving the lawsuits and discovery will take place after that.

Pismo Beach city officials declined to comment.

KSBY also reached out to all the other defendants named in the lawsuit and did not hear back.