Saturday, October 8, 2011

Table Saw without `saw stop' technology defective: First Circuit

photo by FineWoodworking magazine
Carlos Osorio suffered serious hand injuries at work while using a Ryobi portable table saw.  He filed a multi-count complaint alleging negligence and breach of the seller's duty Massachusetts doctrine of implied warranty.   The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Osorio v. One World Technologies has upheld a plaintiff's verdict based on the claim that a table saw was defective due to failure to include automatic instant braking technology such as that invented by Stephen Gass - the founder of Saw Stop who lauded the verdict in a Q&A with FineWoodworking magazine.  The company has promoted its product with its famous hot dog video.

Patrick McCombe, a FineWoodworking reporter has an interesting review of the defense tactics and the plaintiff's countermeasures here.

Fine Woodworking, which has covered the Osorio case closely reports that on October 5, 2011 - the day the First Circuit affirmed the $1.5 million plaintiff's verdict - the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted 5-0 to issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking for a new power saw safety rule. [The CPSC briefing package is HERE.]  Gass has been pressing for such a rule for 8 years.

One of the "risk utility factors" in a design defect case is the cost and practicality of the proposed alternative safer design.  This article from FineWoodworking includes a price list.  The SawStop cabinet saw commands a premium price that could make a real difference to a consumer.

After that view an ad for a SawStop portable contractor's saw which is twelve times the price of the Ryobi.
A competing designer David  Butler - a blade brake inventor - is working to adapt the technology to portable contractors saws. VIDEO HERE
10 inch professional cabinet saw

updated February 10, 2014

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