Get ready to moan

Following a convoluted path through the WWW, comes this story from the Boston Globe, where a man has successfully sued a company for his own stupidity, and purchasing decision.

Marc “The Wood Whisperer” Spagnuolo makes some excellent observations about the case here

Man Wins $1.5M In First of its Kind Saw Case
by: Jenn Abelson

A Boston jury has awarded $1.5 million to a Malden man who injured his fingers on a saw while installing oak wood flooring several years ago in a first of its kind case that claimed the standard design of American table saws is defective.

Carlos Osorio accused One World Technologies Inc., maker of Ryobi saws, of negligence for failing to include a flesh detection technology that would prevent most serious injuries, according to a copy of the complaint filed in 2006 in US District Court in Boston.

After five surgeries and years of rehabilitation, two of Osorio’s fingers are permanently disfigured and unusable, and he has suffered numbness and loss of feeling in three other fingers.

“Hopefully, this means the industry is finally going to recognize that catastrophic injuries could be averted and they need to make this technology standard so people don’t have these senseless injuries,’’ said Richard J. Sullivan, one of the lawyers representing Osorio.

One World Technologies said it had been advised of the verdict.

“We are evaluating the results with our lawyers, and evaluating how to proceed,’’ said Jason Swanson, a spokesman for One World Technologies.

“Notwithstanding the outcome of this trial and any possible appeal, we remain confident that the saw which was the subject of this lawsuit was well-designed and manufactured with all due consideration for the needs and safety of the consumer.’’

Osorio’s case is one of more than 50 lawsuits pending throughout the United States against the major table saw manufacturers for failure to adopt the technology, which would stop a power saw blade almost instantly upon contact with human flesh.

During Osorio’s trial, an expert witness for the defense acknowledged that if the saw had the flesh detection technology, it would have created a 1/8-inch deep cut on one finger, Osorio’s lawyers said. Instead, Osorio suffered near-amputation of one finger and severe lacerations on four other fingers.

Guess that is what comes from a litigious society.  However, reading the many comments on Marc’s site the vast majority are as bemused as I am, not that someone tried this on, but the courts upheld it. Sad huh.

What I don’t understand is why the courts didn’t appreciate that he cost to buy this saw instead of one he knew does have flesh-sensing technology.  He chose to buy a $100 saw instead of a $2000, and yet the manufacturer of the $100 saw is responsible? A $100 saw would not be $100 with SawStop technology included.  For one, the saw itself would physically explode if you just tried to stop the blade with a SawStop brake without upping the strength of the rest of the machine to take the very significant loads.

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