Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Motel Guests Die of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Pool Heater - Hotel Executive Charged with ManslaughterA business executive that managed a Best Western Motel in Boon, North Carolina was recently indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter and assault in the carbon monoxide deaths of two motel guests and the injury of a third.
Investigators have determined that carbon monoxide entered the motel rooms from a rusted vent pipe running underneath the rooms from a modified pool heater. Code violations have been reported and fines levied. http://www.thestate.com/2014/01/08/3196549/boone-hotel-executive-charged.html
Friday, September 24, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
As it turns out, my client never changed the filter "O" Ring and stated that he never even checked the "O" Ring for wear or deterioration. Had he done so, the damages probably would have been avoided.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
During a routine maintenance call at a commercial pool the service tech removed the skimmer lid, emptied the leaf basket and left both the lid and basket on the pool deck. He then passed the vac hose through the weir throat of the skimmer and proceeded to vacuum the pool. Within five minutes a man was injured when he stepped into the open skimmer.
My question: Why didn't the pool tech replace the skimmer lid before vacuuming the pool?
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Mission Pools contended that the pool was safe for proper diving and it was not responsible for the improper use of its pools. Mission argued that Johnson ignored warnings regarding proper diving technique and that there was no evidence that the standards were unsafe.
Prior to trial, Johnson demanded $425,000; Mission offered $30,000.
Trial began on December 1, 2009 and lasted 7 days, but the jury deliberated for only 3 hours before reaching its verdict that Mission Pools was not liable for Johnson's injuries.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Defendants are permitted to file a cross-complaint or counter-suit in all jurisdictions. It is an effective strategic move to simultaneously defend against the pool tech’s claim for unpaid service and obtain money damages for what is often normal wear and tear to plaster, tile and equipment. In some cases, the customer hires an attorney to transfer the case from small claims to superior court where the service tech must have his own legal representation and where potential recovery is much greater. The pool tech that was initially in control of the situation is now put on the defensive, fighting to preserve his reputation and avoid a judgment ordering him to pay his former customer. So how does the pool tech who is rightfully owed money avoid falling into this trap?
Rule #1: Effectively manage your accounts receivable:
Staying on top of your unpaid invoices is by far the best way to avoid the problem. A customer who can’t pay an invoice for one month’s service will generally be just as unable to pay an invoice for two or three month’s service. Your likelihood of facing a battle in court increases with the amount in dispute. Develop a set of notices for your customers with overdue invoices and send these notices regularly. When you’re not paid, advise your customer in writing of the date on which service will be terminated for non-payment. Your chance of eventually collecting on a small invoice is greater and if necessary, it’s easier to write-off an unpaid bill for one month rather than three month’s service.
Rule #2: Collection agencies can be a cheap alternative to a lawsuit:
Collection agencies are professionals at the art of collecting unpaid bills and they can save you the time and emotional turmoil of dealing with difficult customers. Transworld Services offers IPSSA members a preferential rate for its services and information is available in the Members Only section at IPSSA.com.
Rule #3: Critically evaluate your customer’s defenses before filing suit:
Rule #4: Your time is valuable:
Even a small lawsuit is time consuming and that is true even for a small claims court lawsuit. Your time will be occupied filling out paperwork and initially appearing in court for the hearing. Small claims court matters are often heard by commissioners, but either party can request that the case be heard by a judge, thereby delaying the hearing. In California, a defendant that loses a small claims court matter can appeal to Superior Court where the case will be re-tried. You’re neither servicing nor repairing pools when you are in court which means that you are losing money for every hour that you spend waiting for your case to be heard. Consider what your time is worth.
Rule #5: Collecting is often difficult even if you win your case:
You filed your Complaint and you successfully argued your case before the small claims court commissioner and the Superior Court judge on appeal. You are the proud recipient of a judgment but you still haven’t seen any money. Now what?
In California, a defendant has 30 days in which to satisfy the judgment; if your customer doesn’t pay you’ll need to go back court and obtain a Writ of Execution and deliver it to the sheriff who will attempt to seize funds from the customer’s account. If he has changed banks you will need to hire a private investigator and you should expect to pay $100-$200 for this service. There are other ways to obtain this information, but those require additional time in court.
In summary, the small claims court lawsuit is a poor alternative to efficient accounts receivable control given the risk of loss on your customer’s cross-complaint combined with the unprofitable time spent in court. IPSSA members considering legal action against their customers are advised to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their cases before beginning a process over which they may lose control.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The Orange County Register recently reported the case of a man who decided to use his body to test the effectiveness of a channel drain in the spa at his condominium. Guess what? He succeeded in entrapping himself onto the cover until the SVRS released the suction. Rumor has it that he will next test the effectiveness of seat belts (or the lack thereof) in high speed car crashes!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
(Hint: Follow Link or Right Click to Enlarge Text)
MDCHD Investigation Key Colony Pool Entrapment Case
On a Friday in June, our client drained a residential swimming pool to perform a routine acid wash. The home had been in foreclosure and the new purchaser wanted the pool to look great when she arrived with her four children the next day. Our service technician was not inexperienced with acid washing pools - he had performed many jobs like this in the past. As usual, he placed a submersible pump in the deep end and ran the discharge hose into the sewer clean-out in the back yard. What was different, however, was that this house was connected to a septic tank. The tank quickly filled and flooded the house with hundreds of gallons of "black water", a term used to describe waste water containing fecal matter and urine.
We soon received a telephone call from the purchaser who explained that she sold her prior home and had to move the next day. It would take at least a week to remove the bacteria laden water and disinfect the house but she had no place to live. This pool tech's error resulted in a claim of almost $20,000, which included living expenses for the family, who moved into a hotel during the restoration process.
It is common for water to back up into homes, even when pools are drained into sewer lines. We recommend that pools only be drained when the owner is home and can check for the first sign of an obstructed drain line. (We also advise against draining pools into septic tanks).
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Two-year-old Miller Reid was exiting the swimming pool when he was bitten by a pygmy rattle snake, which was under the lip of the pool.
The pool was evacuated and Miller was taken to a Joplin hospital the air lifted to a Kansas City hospital.
A spokesperson for the Department of Natural Resources says this was an unusual and isolated incident.
Link to video