Shattered table, shattered nerves

Peter Walsh
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Baby narrowly avoids flying glass

The Maddox family was enjoying a lazy afternoon on their patio deck in Mount Pearl 10 days ago, when their peace and quiet was literally shattered.

Hanna Maddox had visitors. Her niece, Corine Cunningham, had dropped by with her baby, and they were all on the back patio. Cunningham was chasing around eleven-month old Emily.

Hanna Maddox (left), her niece Corine Cunningham and 11-month-old great niece Emily Cunningham sit around the new patio table Maddox purchased after her glass table "exploded" last week. Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

The Maddox family was enjoying a lazy afternoon on their patio deck in Mount Pearl 10 days ago, when their peace and quiet was literally shattered.

Hanna Maddox had visitors. Her niece, Corine Cunningham, had dropped by with her baby, and they were all on the back patio. Cunningham was chasing around eleven-month old Emily.

The baby had just crawled out from under the glass patio table when a gust of wind made the table's umbrella billow slightly.

"Emily had just left the table to go over and get a toy when the table shattered. Glass went everywhere," said Cunningham.

"The only sound I remember was a poof and glass went into a million pieces. It actually cut my aunt's feet," she said.

"She was sitting next to the table and I was away following Emily around."

"It just exploded," said Maddox. "The noise I'll never forget. It just went boom."

Maddox's children bought the table for her last summer as a gift. The family said they had heard news reports that some glass patio tables shatter and can be dangerous. They say they asked Wal-Mart staff if the table was safe. The family said Wal-Mart told them it was because the glass is tempered, meaning it breaks into pieces with rounded edges, like a car windshield.

However, that didn't happen.

"Some of it was (bevelled) and some of it was like shards. It was a combination of both. There were little shards everywhere, and it was the kind that stuck into your skin," said Cunningham. "The glass that I picked out of my aunt's feet were actually stuck into her skin."

"It cut the bottoms of my feet," said Maddox.

Maddox told Cunningham - who wasn't injured - to grab Emily, who was unhurt. Maddox and Cunningham said it was a frightening experience.

"There was so much force we had to get down with eyebrow tweezers and pick the glass out of the wood of the patio. There are gouges in my patio," said Maddox.

It took the family many hours over several days to clean up all the glass. But the mess isn't what worries them. It was the close call with Emily.

"If she had to be where she was three seconds earlier, we would have had to take her to the hospital. I'm convinced she would have been seriously hurt. She would have been covered in glass. It was pure luck that she crawled out in time."

Maddox returned the frame and chairs to Wal-Mart on Stavanger Drive in St. John's. The store manager took it back without question and gave Maddox and in-store credit, which she used to buy a new patio set that does not have a glass top.

But the story doesn't end there. Days later, Maddox spotted a glass patio set similar to the one that shattered advertised in a recent Wal-Mart flyer.

"They're still selling them, and I don't think they should be selling them," said Maddox.

Wal-Mart Canada told The Telegram the patio set advertised isn't the same one that exploded.

"The patio set advertised in our flyer, while it looks similar, is actually a different model than the one in question, which was on old model," said Andrew Pelletier, vice-president, corporate Affairs.

Pelletier said the model that shattered on Maddox is no longer sold at Wal-Mart stores. He also said Wal-Mart has not received any other reports of any shattered glass-topped patio tables.

"So it looks on the surface like a unique isolated incident. If there was reason to stop selling an item, we wouldn't hesitate to do that and we've done that in many cases. At this point given what we're hearing it does look like a unique, strange and bizarre incident. But there's enough here to continue to review it."

Pelletier said the currently advertised glass model is safe because it has tempered glass. Maddox said she's heard that before.

"I don't think they should sell any glass tables. They told me at Wal-Mart that maybe the extreme temperatures and the wind causes it, but then they shouldn't be selling them in Newfoundland."

Organizations: Wal-Mart Canada

Geographic location: St. John's, Newfoundland

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Lorna
    September 22, 2014 - 14:45

    I bought a Redford 7 piece dining set at Walmart last year and the glass to shattered for no reason yesterday. Thankfully no one was on the deck when it happened! These table should not be sold in Canada if they are not safe! Walmart didn't seem to be concerned and told me to contact the manufacturer!

  • P
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Just this month, there was a story from Naples, Fla on this same type of accident/incident. http://www.winknews.com/features/action/45007022.html
    People are saying that they have never heard of this happening, never been a complaint before, but I recall this happening in NL a few years back. Again, no one was hurt, but I did take note not to buy glass topped patio tables!

  • Bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    We've had a Glass Topped table for 12 years! It was bought at Hauser Furniture! I think the whole set with 2 swivel Chairs and 2 Solid chairs an Umbrella and base. It was about $2300 at that time and the table and top have been stored outside all that time. I guess quality is the answer!

  • Helen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    This happened to my glass table 1 week after I bought it at Wal-mart in Ontario...they would not replace it.

  • Donny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Hey, you must have been living under a rock not to have heard about the dangers of glass patio furniture. Some people..........

  • Marshall
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    The same thing happened to a glass table I had (purchased from Wal-Mart) in NS. Never again would I purchase one of those.

  • G
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    These things are made with GLASS - YES, GLASS. What do you think would happen if it shattered. Just because it is tempered does not mean it can't cut.

  • missy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    We have had one of those glass top tables now for 8 years & there has not been a problem with the table .My husband actually reinforced the base of the umbrella to the deck with screws .This prevents the umbrella from being lifted during windy days . Just a tip for anyone who has a glass top table .

  • Helen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Just 2 years ago the same thing happened to me , Walmart replaced my table and said as long as no one was hurt. Just as the lady said above one second you were beside it and another it just made a bang and shattered pieces went every where I still have the pictures and it was a very expensive set $ 699.00. Again Walmart did replace my table but I will never buy another glass top patio set .

  • San
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    I don't think there is any such thing as glass being completely safe. There are alot of factors....was it left out over the winter? Any other kids around that might have used it as a drum .... not in this case but any. Glass is glass, and not able to hold up to alot of elements. The umbrella and the forse of the wind compromised the glass in my opinion, may never have happened if the umbrella was not in use or had neither one at all. Face it, those umbrellas are meant to be used in ideal weather.... I dont' think I'd ever consider buying a glass top outdoor table, I'd assume it would break, dispite what any sales person would say. Whats that old saying...buyer beware!!

  • Tilly
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Funny how some people only get on and comment only to make what they think are smart remarks. The family only agreed to this article to help get this issue out in the open and to make the pubic more aware of the dangers of using these tempered glass tables. Obviously they were aware that it was GLASS but were reassured by the sales clerk that it was safe to buy. And if they were from under a rock then they would have the same attitude as the individual from who made the comment referring to the rock, and not cared if other children were put in danger through the use of these tables.

  • Chad
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    This did happen a few years ago to a little girl in St. John's. I can't remember the name, but the father worked at xwave. The poor little girl had stitches all over her face. She was maybe 2 or 3 years old at the time.

    I can't believe they're still in the stores. Please people, stop buying them!

  • exactly what youre
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I just wonder where these glass tables were made........I don't suppose they were made in(DARE I SAY IT) China????? Nahh!! Couldn't be. Could it??? Why in the name of all that's holy do we import this junk??.......

  • David Chesney
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Walmart is outright lying if they say this hasn't been reported in the past. My table was purchased at Walmart and I've reported it to Walmart. My daughter was seriously injured, but Walmart is obviously ignoring her injury!!!
    If you want to see the danger in these tables, view my blog.

    www.jadachesney.blogspot.com

  • Norine
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    I can't believe that people would still consider buying a glass patio table with the numerous reports of them exploding. Even if there was only one report, that's enough for me to want to protect my loved ones. The picture of Jada Chesney on the blog David mentions above will send chills up your spine. Go plastic, wood or rock. Be sensible people.

  • missy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Yes I have heard about the dangers of the tables & I am sorry to hear that disasters happen . I do not live under a rock but I am originally from the rock -actually very close to Blaketown . I just wanted to mention that not every glass table has a problem . Maybe I have just been lucky !

  • D
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Sorry to hear this story, but where have you people been living, have you not heard about the dangers of these glass tables, maybe its time to start watching your local news channel.

  • TB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    we bought one from Zellers last year and the same thing happened to us last week. Luckily we were inside when it shattered. People need to be told about the dangers associated with glass patio tables, I would never have bought one if I knew it could shatter so easily.

  • Tony
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Personally , i wouldn't own a glass patio table unless it came with no umbrella . I've seen a salad bowl dropped accidently on one and that was the end of it . If a glass table does have an umbrella , make certain that the umbrella is the vented type , that is that it has a smaller type umbrella on top of the main one and is there so that trapped air can escape . If the umbrella has less opportunity to lift , then there's less chance of the glass breaking . Does anyone know if this particular Walmart brand umbrella is vented or not ? .

  • P
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    Just this month, there was a story from Naples, Fla on this same type of accident/incident. http://www.winknews.com/features/action/45007022.html
    People are saying that they have never heard of this happening, never been a complaint before, but I recall this happening in NL a few years back. Again, no one was hurt, but I did take note not to buy glass topped patio tables!

  • Bill
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    We've had a Glass Topped table for 12 years! It was bought at Hauser Furniture! I think the whole set with 2 swivel Chairs and 2 Solid chairs an Umbrella and base. It was about $2300 at that time and the table and top have been stored outside all that time. I guess quality is the answer!

  • Helen
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    This happened to my glass table 1 week after I bought it at Wal-mart in Ontario...they would not replace it.

  • Donny
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Hey, you must have been living under a rock not to have heard about the dangers of glass patio furniture. Some people..........

  • Marshall
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    The same thing happened to a glass table I had (purchased from Wal-Mart) in NS. Never again would I purchase one of those.

  • G
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    These things are made with GLASS - YES, GLASS. What do you think would happen if it shattered. Just because it is tempered does not mean it can't cut.

  • missy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    We have had one of those glass top tables now for 8 years & there has not been a problem with the table .My husband actually reinforced the base of the umbrella to the deck with screws .This prevents the umbrella from being lifted during windy days . Just a tip for anyone who has a glass top table .

  • Helen
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Just 2 years ago the same thing happened to me , Walmart replaced my table and said as long as no one was hurt. Just as the lady said above one second you were beside it and another it just made a bang and shattered pieces went every where I still have the pictures and it was a very expensive set $ 699.00. Again Walmart did replace my table but I will never buy another glass top patio set .

  • San
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    I don't think there is any such thing as glass being completely safe. There are alot of factors....was it left out over the winter? Any other kids around that might have used it as a drum .... not in this case but any. Glass is glass, and not able to hold up to alot of elements. The umbrella and the forse of the wind compromised the glass in my opinion, may never have happened if the umbrella was not in use or had neither one at all. Face it, those umbrellas are meant to be used in ideal weather.... I dont' think I'd ever consider buying a glass top outdoor table, I'd assume it would break, dispite what any sales person would say. Whats that old saying...buyer beware!!

  • Tilly
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Funny how some people only get on and comment only to make what they think are smart remarks. The family only agreed to this article to help get this issue out in the open and to make the pubic more aware of the dangers of using these tempered glass tables. Obviously they were aware that it was GLASS but were reassured by the sales clerk that it was safe to buy. And if they were from under a rock then they would have the same attitude as the individual from who made the comment referring to the rock, and not cared if other children were put in danger through the use of these tables.

  • Chad
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    This did happen a few years ago to a little girl in St. John's. I can't remember the name, but the father worked at xwave. The poor little girl had stitches all over her face. She was maybe 2 or 3 years old at the time.

    I can't believe they're still in the stores. Please people, stop buying them!

  • exactly what youre
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    I just wonder where these glass tables were made........I don't suppose they were made in(DARE I SAY IT) China????? Nahh!! Couldn't be. Could it??? Why in the name of all that's holy do we import this junk??.......

  • David Chesney
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Walmart is outright lying if they say this hasn't been reported in the past. My table was purchased at Walmart and I've reported it to Walmart. My daughter was seriously injured, but Walmart is obviously ignoring her injury!!!
    If you want to see the danger in these tables, view my blog.

    www.jadachesney.blogspot.com

  • Norine
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    I can't believe that people would still consider buying a glass patio table with the numerous reports of them exploding. Even if there was only one report, that's enough for me to want to protect my loved ones. The picture of Jada Chesney on the blog David mentions above will send chills up your spine. Go plastic, wood or rock. Be sensible people.

  • missy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Yes I have heard about the dangers of the tables & I am sorry to hear that disasters happen . I do not live under a rock but I am originally from the rock -actually very close to Blaketown . I just wanted to mention that not every glass table has a problem . Maybe I have just been lucky !

  • D
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Sorry to hear this story, but where have you people been living, have you not heard about the dangers of these glass tables, maybe its time to start watching your local news channel.

  • TB
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    we bought one from Zellers last year and the same thing happened to us last week. Luckily we were inside when it shattered. People need to be told about the dangers associated with glass patio tables, I would never have bought one if I knew it could shatter so easily.

  • Tony
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Personally , i wouldn't own a glass patio table unless it came with no umbrella . I've seen a salad bowl dropped accidently on one and that was the end of it . If a glass table does have an umbrella , make certain that the umbrella is the vented type , that is that it has a smaller type umbrella on top of the main one and is there so that trapped air can escape . If the umbrella has less opportunity to lift , then there's less chance of the glass breaking . Does anyone know if this particular Walmart brand umbrella is vented or not ? .