Tablesaw Accident Sparks Million-Dollar Fingercomments (35) March 19th, 2010 in Blogs
A couple of weeks ago, Fine Woodworking senior editor Tom McKenna made a guest appearance here at FineHomebuilding.com to fill us in on the story of one Carlos Osorio. Osorio recently won a $1.5 million judgment against the makers of Ryobi tools after suffering injuries to his fingers in a tablesaw-related accident.
A Boston court sided with Osorio's contention, that Ryobi's tablesaw design was defective because it didn't incorporate "flesh detection technology." According to the Oregonian, now 60 other cases have popped up across the United States, all claiming negligence on the part of tool manufacturers.
|Steve Gass reflects on his invention of the SawStop.|
So where does responsibility of one's actions--one's own negligence in using a tool safely and properly--end? It's widely known that Gass developed the SawStop technology as just that--a stand-alone technology. But when faced with manufacturers who felt "safety doesn't sell," he put his money where his mouth was, financed his own business, built his own saw, and the rest is history.
Does the fact that tool manufacturers declined to license Gass' technology mean they're now responsible for any injury related to their tools - whether due to user error or not? The fact of the matter is, there is no federal regulation requiring tablesaw manufacturers to incorporate "flesh detection technology" (say that five times fast), so where is the merit in these lawsuits?
|Read Gary Katz's article on
So where do you stand? A small group of FHB editors recently debated this subject on the weekly Lunch Pail Podcast and you can rest assured that we'll be revisiting it in the coming weeks. To help us gain some perspective from Fine Homebuilding readers, please take a moment to chime in using the online poll located on page two of this post.
posted in: Blogs, Ryobi, SawStop, tablesaw lawsuit, Carlos Osorio, Steve Gass