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Entries in Pool (2)

Tuesday
Sep252012

Lawsuit: $73,000 Glass Pool Table Not Up to Scratch

A glass pool table by Nottage Design is shown in this product publicity shot. (Nottage Design)(ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.) -- The buyer of a futuristic, $73,000 glass pool table claims he's been snookered. In a complaint filed in Orange Country, Calif., Superior Court, the buyer alleges that the maker, Nottage Design of Australia, neglected to disclose one important fact about the table:

Play on it with anything but specially-coated, custom-made balls, and you scratch the glass.

Brant Martin, a Dallas attorney representing the buyer (identified in the suit only as Desert Beach, an LLC) says his client learned this fact the hard way: He bought a $73,000 custom G-1 glass-top table for home use, played on it with "a standard set of pool balls, the kind that might be found in any pool hall," and discovered to his horror that this left the table "scuffed, scratched, damaged -- essentially destroyed."

The suit says shipping materials that accompanied the table included a sealed envelope with an inconspicuous notation saying that the balls shipped by Nottage were specially made for use with the table -- but that this amounted to the "hiding" of so material a warning.

The buyer feels an injustice has been done, says Martin. The complaint seeks $219,000 in damages. Nottage, asked for comment by ABC News, did not respond.

Nottage's website describes the table's glass surface as protected by Vitrik, a proprietary coating "which allows the balls to roll silently at a near identical rate to a standard cloth table… It's highly durable, completely non-toxic and is transparent." The site says the custom balls it sells are coated with a special finish "compatible" with Vitrik. "Please only use these balls," it advises.

Martin says this warning was added only after his client ruined his table and complained to the company. Prior to that, his client alleges, Nottage's website left buyers with the impression they could play with standard pool balls.

The suit claims that at the time the buyer researched and negotiated his purchase, Nottage never once mentioned that its tables could only be used with its own specially-coated balls.

Jesse Rothberg, store manager at Blatt Billiards in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, says he is familiar with the G-1 glass table, which he first saw at a trade show in Las Vegas. He's also seen a copy of the lawsuit.

The table, he says, "didn't look very viable" to him. "I shot a couple of balls on it, because it was there for the exhibit. We all had the same reaction: nothing spectacular. I wasn't thrilled with the action or the balls."

Blatt, in business since 1923, sells traditional slate-topped, fabric-covered models. In the pantheon of pricey pool tables, what could $73,000 buy you?

"Something pretty spectacular," says Rothberg -- a nice antique. Then again, you could get what's in the store's front window: A one-of-a-kind gothic job in teak. Price: $250,000.

Expensive, true; but you play on it with regular old balls.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May262011

Drowning Risk Prompts Biggest-Ever Pool Drain Cover Recall

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In its largest-ever pool drain cover recall, the government's lead consumer watchdog has recalled almost one million pool and hot tub drain covers because of a drowning risk.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said that pool owners should stop using dozens of different models made by eight different companies "immediately" because improper safety ratings mean the products "could pose a possible entrapment hazard to swimmers and bathers." The recall comes nine months after ABC News revealed that millions of backyard pool drain covers may have been improperly tested for safety and might pose entrapment risks.

"I want to make it clear that this recall announcement does not mean that one million drain covers will need to be replaced or repaired," said CPSC chair Inez Tenenbaum, who announced the massive recall Thursday during a pool safety event near San Diego, "[but] pool operators and homeowners should contact the maker of their drain covers to see what action, if any, is needed to make their individual pool or spa safe."

The models subject to recall were manufactured by A & A, Aquastar, Color Match, Custom Molded Products, Hayward Pool Products, Pentair Water Pool & Spa, Rising Dragon and Waterway, and were marked with the improper water flow rating. In a statement, the CPSC said the recall was undertaken with the cooperation of the manufacturers, and that "pool owners/operators and consumers who have one of the recalled pool or spa drain covers should immediately contact the manufacturer to receive a replacement or retrofit, depending on their make and model."

Said Tenenbaum, "If you know or if your pool service company tells you that drain covers made by one of these manufacturers were installed in your pool or spa -- call them right away."

The vacuum effect in pool drains is powerful enough to hold swimmers, especially children, to the bottom of a pool. Contact between human skin and a flat pool drain can create suction equal to hundreds of pounds of pressure.

At least 11 people are known to have died from entrapment from heavy suction by pool drains since 1999, including seven-year-old Virginia Graeme Baker, whose death by drain entrapment in 2002 spurred the passage of a pool safety law named for her five years later. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act created stricter anti-suction standards for pool drain products.

Nancy Baker, the mother of Virginia Graeme Baker, applauded the CPSC's drain cover recall. "If it results in having these drain covers recalled and having the safer covers put in place that are now in compliance with the law, then it's fulfilling the intent of what we set out to do when we got the law passed," said Baker. Baker was present when her daughter died by pool drain entrapment. "It's very important that pool drains are safer because I have seen firsthand the horrible effects of what happens and lived with the aftermath of what happens if they're unsafe."

The CPSC says it is not aware of any drain entrapment deaths in the U.S. so far in 2011. Last December, a 33-year-old Missouri man died in a hot tub drain entrapment incident at a resort in the Bahamas.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio