Man shocked using golf ball retriever

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jun. 4, 2008, 7:48am

This photo from the ProLine Sports Web site shows the Igotcha Ball Retriever in action.

MARSHALL – During a round of golf at the Oak Forest Country Club in Longview, Jordan Hunt failed to make par when his golf ball landed in the creek that runs across the country club.

Hunt used a golf ball retriever to get the ball back, but when he raised the retriever out of the creek, it came too close to overhead power lines. Electricity arced to the golf ball retriever, shocking and injuring Hunt.

The Longview resident filed suit against the golf ball retriever's manufacturer, Pro Line Sports Inc. on June 2, in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Hunt alleges the golf ball retriever was unreasonably dangerous, defective, and not fit for its intended use. Further, he states that Pro Line Sports should have foreseen that similar incidents would take place but failed to notify or apprise consumers that the retriever could allow electricity to flow through a person's body.

According to the company Web site, Pro Line Sports Inc. was founded in 1996 by Jim Light. The Florida-based company claims that the Igotcha Golf Ball Retriever has become the "No. 1 selling golf ball retriever in America." Currently, Pro Line has more than 2,600 active accounts in America including all major golf retailers as well as golf pro shops and country clubs throughout the nation, the site claims. The retriever models vary in length from 15 to 18 feet long.

The suit accuses the defendant of acting with malice and proceeding with "conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of Jordan Hunt."

The plaintiff is seeking more than $75,000 in damages for mental impairment, physical impairment, physical disfigurement, medical expenses, loss of wage earning capacity, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.

Hunt is seeking a trial by jury and is represented by Longview attorney Blake E. Erskine of the Erskine and McMahon LLP and Dan Stroup.

Currently, Pro line Sports has not responded to the allegations.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward has referred the case to U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Everingham.

Case No. 2:08cv00223

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