FieldTurf defends itself against charges of knowingly selling defective fields

FieldTurf Eric Daliere testifies at Senate committee hearing. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

FieldTurf Eric Daliere testifies at Senate committee hearing. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

The leader of a company that makes artificial sports fields told a New Jersey Senate committee allegations made in three-class action lawsuits are disturbing and inaccurate. Newark schools, the borough of Carteret, and the owner of a soccer club in Clifton claim FieldTurf continued to sell its Duraspine product while knowing it was defective.

Eric Daliere, the chief executive officer of Field Turf, disputes claims that the fields are not living up to their 8 year warranty period.

“I believe the marketing materials talked about going beyond 8 years, which the vast majority of fields have, is supported by the experience of the customers in New Jersey,” he said.

Daliere says the majority of the fields it sold in New Jersey are still in use, and he says the company has been responsive to customers about the product’s performance.

“What our technical analysis showed us is that problems with Duraspine were predominately in high UV areas and some colors. So disclosing to all customers who were not impacted was not something we felt was necessary,” he said.

In addition to the lawsuit, FieldTurf has attracted a lot of attention after a multi-part investigation by NJ.com.

Sen. Gerald Cardinale says he understands a defective field could create safety problems, but isn’t sure what the legislature can do about it.

“If there is a legal issue, it belongs in court,” said Cardinale. “The only thing that I see that we might be able to do is to pass some sort of resolution calling the Attorney General’s attention to the issue.”

Sen. Nellie Pou believes it’s also a consumer affairs issue for the state attorney general to examine.

The plaintiffs in the class-action suits cited the ongoing litigation as the reason they did not attend the legislative hearing.

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