It is no secret that table saws can be dangerous. Steven Gass had witnessed the danger of table saws. As a result, he created the Saw Stop. When a Saw Stop comes in to contact with flesh it has the ability to come to a dead stop in about three one-thousandths of a second. Saw Stop began making their own brand of saws in 2004 after power tool makers continuously refused to invest in their safety product. It has been suggested that the large power tool manufacturing companies did not want a safety device like SawStop to prevail on the market. The availability of such a device could place liability on the table saw manufacturer if the user became injured while using a conventional saw without the added stop technology.[i]
With approximately 67,300 medically treated table saw injuries occurring each year, conventional table saw manufacturers stood to lose large amounts of money due to injury settlement and litigation costs. In the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking it estimated the average cost of a table saw injury to be around $35,000. In total this amounts to an estimated $2.36 billion.[ii]
Manufacturers continue to resist installing the stopping device, but they are increasingly being held liable for disregarding available safety technologies. In 2011, Carlos Osorio sued manufacturer Ryobi Technologies Inc., claiming the saw he had purchased was defectively designed, in part because it did not incorporate the Saw Stop technology. Gass, testified at the trial that Ryobi was given the chance to incorporate the technology to its design in 2000, but opted against doing so. [iii] Osorio prevailed and was eventually awarded $1.5 million in damages.[iv]
There are currently numerous cases filed relating to defective table saws, placing liability on the manufacturer for disregarding safety technologies:
“The 59 year old male victim was working with his table saw at home cutting boards. Somehow, his left hand came into contact with the blade, lacerating his middle finger and partially amputating his index finger. Victim transported to ER by his wife. Received IV antibiotics and 4 stitches in middle finger, treated and released the same day.”[v]
If this scenario sounds all too familiar to you, call the experienced defective device attorneys at GoldenbergLaw, PLLC for a free consultation.
[iii] Osorio v. One World Technologies, Inc., 659 F3d 81, 83 (1st Cir 2011).
[iv] Osorio, 659 F3d at 83.