First World Problems: Litigating A Really Sweet Pool Table

Several weeks ago, a breach of contract/failure-to-warn lawsuit was filed in California state court against a specialty billiard table manufacturer. The case is Desert Beach, LLC v. Nottage Design Pty Ltd. et al, (Orange County). The complaint alleges that Desert Beach, which is a luxury resort, purchased a futuristic pool table from the defendants that – in my immodest opinion – is really, really sweet. Basically, instead of being covered in traditional green or blue felt, the defendants’ pool table is made entirely of glass. Make no mistake, regardless of the threat of war with Iran or the fact that some jerk-wad from Chicago literally just tried to hijack my bank account (props to Wells Fargo for shutting that down), this pool table represents a future I’m proud to live in.

Here’s the problem: The table is apparently easier to break than Michael Vick, who I’m told is also made of glass. Well of course, you may be thinking. A glass pool table is begging to be broken. That’s what I thought, too. However, the defendants allegedly coat each table in a synthetic known as “Vitrik,” which is supposed to make the table top highly durable. That’s one piece of the equation. The other piece is that only specialty billiard balls are to be used on the table. You could also get the best new pinball machines.

Which brings us to the lawsuit. The complaint alleges that defendants failed to tell Desert Beach about the fact that they had to use specialty billiard balls. So guess what Desert Beach did. They went to the Orange County equivalent of Wal-Mart (which may, in fact, be Wal-Mart, I don’t know) and bought the first set of billiard balls they laid their eyes on. And shot pool with them. And damaged the table so badly that not even Obi Wan could offer any hope.

Desert Beach called the defendants and asked them to make it right. And in a power-move befitting of a company who charges $73,000 for a pool table, the defendants allegedly told Desert Beach to pound sand. Then, again allegedly, the defendants tried to reverse engineer their website and other documents to show that Desert Beach knew they were only supposed to use specialty billiard balls with the table. Desert Beach was not amused by the underwhelming customer service and decided to double-down on the insanity with a lawsuit in California, the land of crazy lawsuits.

The defendants haven’t answered the lawsuit yet, so we don’t know their side of the story. But let’s be honest. The pool table cost $73,000. Did the defendants think that Desert Beach would just walk away from that? I mean, if you’ve got that much money to blow on a pool table, you’ve got that much money to blow on litigation to prove a point.

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