Slidewaters Looking to Reopen Case Against Department of L&I
Slidewaters have continued their appeal against the State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) in Chelan County Superior Court Wednesday.
On July 9, 2020, the Chelan-based water park was fined $9,639 for reopening their park during Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 emergency orders, requiring all non-essential businesses to shut down operations.
During that same timeframe, Chelan County was seeing the highest transmission rates of COVID-19 in the state.
A month before they were fined, Slidewaters asked for a temporary restraining order against both Gov. Jay Inslee and L&I in Washington State’s Eastern District Court. Judge Thomas O. Rice denied their request.
On June 18, 2020, Slidewaters announced that they would reopen, and even got a permit from Chelan-Douglas Health District On-Site Program Supervisor Richmond Petty.
After issuing the permit and speaking with the Department of Health (DOH), Petty realized that Slidewaters did not comply with the governor’s orders and rescinded their permit the following day.
Slidewaters co-owner and general manager Robert Bordner claims they would have had to file for bankruptcy if they closed for the summer.
In May of 2021, Slidewaters filed an appeal in Chelan County Superior Court, but failed to take any action within that 30-day timeframe.
Slidewaters was represented by Sydney Phillips with the Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank.
After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Rice's ruling, Phillips attempted to appeal this case to the U.S. Supreme Court, but was ultimately denied.
On Feb. 13, 2023, nearly two years after filing an appeal, Chelan County Superior Court Clerk Marty Young gave notice to Slidewaters that their case would be dismissed unless they either took action or filed a status report within 30 days.
Slidewaters had until March 16, however they filed a motion to be put on the court schedule on March 22.
State Attorney General Bob Ferguson motioned to dismiss this case since the plaintiffs in this case failed to meet their deadline.