Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA), the trade association of the North American entertainment technology industry, has expelled the West Hempstead, NY-based lighting rental/sales/production services company GSD Productions from its membership. The following notice was faxed to ESTA’s members on December 19:

“Notice to Members Pursuant to Paragraph 3A(iv) of the Code of Conduct

“Following a hearing on a complaint brought against GSD Productions, Inc., of West Hempstead, New York asserting violations of ESTA’s Code of Conduct and confirmation by ESTA’s Ethics Committee of the recommendations of the Code of Conduct Hearing Panel, GSD Productions, Inc. was expelled from membership in ESTA effective on December 19, 2003. The Level 4 Sanction of expulsion imposed upon GSD Productions, Inc. is the most severe penalty that may be imposed under ESTA’s Code of Conduct.

“The ESTA Hearing Panel determined and found that GSD Productions, Inc. violated Provision 11 of the ESTA Code of Conduct by failing to follow through and complete its lawful agreement with Complainant Designlab Chicago, Inc., with respect to the rental of lighting equipment. Specifically, the Hearing Panel found that GSD Productions, Inc. failed to respond to the Complainant’s efforts to collect amounts due for the extension of the initial equipment rental period and failed to return the rental equipment to Complainant. The Hearing Panel noted that only the empty equipment shipment cases were returned to the Complainant. GSD Productions, Inc. did not respond to the Code of Conduct Complaint and did not appear before the Hearing Panel at the scheduled hearing.”

When contacted by Lighting Dimensions about the expulsion notice, Glen Davis, president of GSD Productions, said, “We rented some stuff from Designlab and we wanted to buy it. They gave us a ridiculous price. We’ve been battling it out, and now this has happened. We sent back the cases because we didn’t need them. It’s gotten out of hand and we’ll straighten it out. It definitely should have never gotten to this point and we want to fix it.”

When read Davis’ comments, Larry Schoeneman, president of Designlab Chicago, Inc., said, “They [GSD Productions] rented some equipment from us. Shortly thereafter, they returned the cases from the equipment. Toward the end of the rental, we contacted them about extending the rental or returning the equipment; they said that they wanted to extend the rental but they never paid for this desired rental extension. A couple of months later, we still hadn’t received any additional rental payment. We contacted them and proposed that they purchase the equipment, because the rental had gone on so long that the cost of rental exceeded a reasonable cost of purchase. That's where it pretty much ground to a halt. They ceased returning our phone calls. We filed a case against them in court in New York and received a summary judgment against them, because they refused to participate in the legal process in New York State--they didn't bother to show up. If Glenn is interested in resolving this, I'm certainly willing to discuss this with him, but there hasn't been a phone call or any other contact from them to resolve this matter."

This is the first time ever that a company has been expelled for a violation of ESTA’s Code of Conduct, which was adopted in January 1999 and was amended in January 2003 to accept complaints from non-members. Designlab Chicago is an ESTA member.