PORTLAND -- More people are coming forward, claiming they experienced serious injuries on a children’s slide at a play area in Portland’s Pearl District.
The “triple-wave” slide at PlayDate PDX, a popular children’s play facility, is now the focus of a growing lawsuit.
Attorney Jason Kafoury said he is now representing more than a dozen clients in the suit.
“The truth is, I think people are getting hurt every day,” Kafoury said.
According to the lawsuit, injuries include fractured tailbones, bulging and herniated disks and compression fractures. Some injuries have resulted in surgery.
“We have one victim who required a back surgery she had $15,000 in medical bills,” said Kafoury.
He said the list of people claiming injury has doubled in the past week. Fourteen people have contacted his office about the injuries they said they received while riding down the triple-wave slide.
“We're now up to about 14 or 15 victims, all with serious injuries and all of them, still one year, two years later [experiencing] lingering issues where they can't even sit on their tailbone right,” Kafoury said.
But the owner of PlayDate PDX, Bob Birkhahn, said the triple-wave slide is safe, and it is used every day by children and adults.
Birkhahn let Unit 8 into PlayDate PDX to see the slide and the children using it. He said he’s had 25 reports of injuries involving the slide in the past three years.
According to Birkhahn, that averages out to “about one in every 14 thousand trips on the slide.”
“The Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates you’re about 40 times more likely to be injured playing tennis and about 300 times more likely to be injured playing baseball or basketball,” he said.
Birkhahn also said he posted caution signs in PlayDate PDX, warning people to be careful on the equipment.
“Yeah, there's a big pillow at the bottom so, it’s as safe as any slide could be I'd say,” said Renae Corcoran.
Corcoran’s daughter, who is two years old, rides down the slide at PlayDate PDX with and without her mother. Renae said she thinks it’s safe.
“You know, with any sort of activity like this, of course there's going to be some risk. But I think it’s minimal, and I think they've taken a lot of precautions here to minimize the risk,” she said.
Kafoury disagrees with Corcoran’s assessment.
“How many women and children does it take getting hurt before something should change?” He said.