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Pismo Beach Pier Plaza slides to close after multiple lawsuits, erosion

PISMO SLIDES CLOSED .jpg
Pismo concrete slides.JPG
Posted at 11:38 AM, Jun 22, 2023

The City of Pismo Beach announced Thursday that the slides from the Pier Plaza to the beach will be closed permanently.

“I'm really sad about it. I really love the slides and when we come down here and visit, we have so many memories. So I'm really upset," said visitor Kirra McMullen.

“I think it's a bummer, you know? I mean, they're taking something away from the kids that the kids love. I feel like it's made Pismo along with the sign and then the slides and then the ocean," added visitor William Patalasky.

A statement from city officials cited coastal erosion and the multiple lawsuits that have been filed against the city by people alleging they were injured while using the slides.

“For the past six months, the slides have been closed due to coastal tides that caused the sand to recede at the base of the slide," the statement reads. "Additionally, pending litigation resulting from the repeated misuse of the slide, left little choice but to permanently close this unique coastal amenity."

The playground area at the Pier Plaza opened in 2020 as part of a revitalization project.

“I came here with my friend from Minnesota, and that was one thing I wanted to show her was the slide because we've had other company come and we've talked them into going down," said Orcutt resident Shelly Kinman.

Shortly after the slides opened, they were closed for about a month for what the city described as maintenance. By that time, city officials said they had already received two injury claims.

In August 2022, KSBY News reported that the Frederick Law Firm, based in Nipomo, had filed 20 lawsuits related to alleged injuries from the slides and more have been filed since.

“I've never gotten hurt and I don't think my mom has either," Mcmullen said.

"I think it makes sense because if people are getting injured, it doesn't make sense to keep it open, especially if there were serious injuries because the person we talked into going down kind of had a bad landing," Kinman said.

The Frederick Law Firm provided KSBY with a statement Thursday, saying, "As our office has alleged in the pending lawsuits, the City, and other entities involved in the construction of the slides, designed the slides as a feature attraction for use by people of all ages. However, it came to light that the City became aware of the inherent risks involved in the slides but failed to implement adequate safety measures, disregarding the foreseeable danger and potential harm to the public. As a result, many individuals who used the slides in a reasonable and intended manner have suffered significant and lasting injuries."

While the city placed warning signs near the slides stating that they were designed for kids ages 5-12 and that falls may result in serious injury, the law firm pointed out that the design company's website describes the slides as whisking "giddy beachgoers of all ages from the plaza onto the sand..."

In the statement released Thursday by the City of Pismo Beach, officials conclude by saying the city will look into options for "future improvements to the area.”