Dissatisfied pool owner wants arbitration clause voided in case against Munie Leisure Center, Mid West Gunite

By Kelly Holleran | Feb 26, 2013

An O’Fallon man has filed suit against the company that installed his nearly $300,000 pool, saying the pool leaks and has numerous other defects.

Ryan Noble claims he hired defendants Munie Leisure Center and Mid West Gunite on Nov. 16, 2010, to install a pool and spa at his property at 10715 Norton Lane in Sparta. Noble paid $278,500 for the amenity, according to the complaint filed Jan. 28 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

On Nov. 28, 2011, Munie told Noble it had completed the construction work for the pool and spa. However, Noble claims he has since noticed numerous problems with them.

For example, the electrical panels in the spa do not meet the National Electrical Standards Code, the pool’s motor is defective and the heaters do not have proper clearance for service, the suit states. In addition, the pool shell has numerous cracks and cannot hold water, the wet deck drainage system is defective, the large stones surrounding the pool are unsafe to walk on, the steps leading into the pool are too narrow to safely enter the water and the spa’s exterior was never coated and was left in an uneven and unfinished manner, the complaint says.

Noble claims he will incur costs associated with removing the pool and replacing it.

He alleges breach of contract, negligence and consumer fraud against Munie.

Noble blames Mid West Gunite for negligent construction, saying it failed to properly apply shotcrete to the ground, failed to apply the shotcrete mixture to the quality set per industry standards, failed to provide adequate support or reinforcement to the shotcrete, failed to keep moisture in the shotcrete during the curing process and failed to protect the concrete from extremely cold temperatures.

When agreeing to the installation of the pool, Noble was asked to sign a contract. Included in the contract was an “Arbitration and Remedies” clause, which states that any complaints with the pool should be brought before an arbitration committee in St. Clair County. No punitive damages can be awarded under the arbitration clause.

However, Noble claims he was not given the choice to reject the arbitration clause. Therefore, he is asking the court to rule the clause void and allow him to litigate his claims in St. Clair County Circuit Court. He is also seeking a judgment of more than $200,000.

Chet A. Kelly of Williams, Caponi and Foley in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-50.

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