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SCUBA-L  September 1999, Week 4

SCUBA-L September 1999, Week 4

Subject:

Re: NEWS FLASH! Uwatec being investigated by CPSC, again!

From:

"Reef Fish (Large Nassau Grouper)" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scuba diving discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 22 Sep 1999 15:08:02 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (73 lines)

At 01:40 PM 9/22/99 -0500, Alfred Kirkland wrote:
>Bob,
>
> I'd be real interested in hearing more about the investigation!!
>Unfortunately, the site you included in your post doesn't have (that I
>could find) any information about Uwatec!!
 
Right! That was the site I was given to check on FUTURE action (if any)
taken by the CPSC on the case in question.
>
> Wasn't the lawsuit you mentioned about a couple of dismissed
>employees?? They claimed there were some bad Uwatec computers, , ,
>Uwatec said NOT <G>, , , , the employees were going to "Whistle Blow", ,
>, , , Uwatec dismissed the employees, , , , , X employees sued, , , , ,
>employees won suit, , , , ,Judgement was appealled, , , , claim was
>settled!!
 
Pretty good! You've done your homework well.
>
> What's the status of that batch of computers??
 
I asked the CPSC investigator the same! AFAIK, the defective batch had
never been recalled. Uwatec denied they ever existed throughout the trial
and after the trial, though I know of one case (related to me by Kent
Lind on this LIST) that upon direct inquiry by one of his friends in
Alaska to Uwatec, it was acknowledged that the defective units existed.
 
The number of REMAINING defective units from the pre-1996 batch should be
very small, and those units can probably be considered "collector's item"
now, if can find it!
 
The CPSC investigator is familiar with the report filed by Frank Marshall
but said that as long as they DO NOT have a defective unit on hand to
test THEMSELVES, there will not be any ACTION taken by them. Uwatec
is certainly NOT going to furnish them with a defective unit. Frank is
out of the picture now (after the $1.5M collection by the attorney) ...
 
So, it looks like that CASE is dead. It will remain dead until someone
died from having unknowingly used one of those units and get oxtox'd
and died.
 
The defense attorney for Uwatec used the fact that "nobody died" from
having used that Uwatec product as part of the defense. The implication
(to me) was that they might 'fess up but only if someone died because of
the defect!
 
But I did tell the investigator (who correctly stated that the defective
algorithm was only "alleged" but not proven in the trial) that the
original team of attorneys for the defendant (Bret Gilliam) resigned
after HIS witness taped a phone conversation in which Bret tried to
make her commit purjery in court, and she turned the evidence over to
the judge and became witness for the PLAINTIFFS. :-)
 
That was pretty good indirect evidence that Bret and Uwatec USA
(though not necessarily its parent companies) knew about the defects
and tried to hide the evidence. That's why the APPEAL only got Uwatec
Ag off the hook for $.5M of the punitive damages, but stuck with $1.5M
of the jury verdict (collected) for "conspiracy, slander, and outrage."
-- the "outrage" part is normally almost impossible to prove in court,
without the former witness for the defense turning over some key evidence
to the judge, and turned witness for the plaintiffs!
 
A most interesting case!
 
>Alfred Kirkland <----- Regardless, , , Air X Nitrox coming soon!! <G>
 
If you happen to run across a pre-1996 production model, I'll take it
for $1500! and turn it over to the CPSC as evidence! :-)
 
-- Bob.
 
As of last week, owner of TWO identical Uwatec Aladin Nitrox PRO. :-)

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