Could Your Table Saw Injury Been Prevented?

More than 65,000 people are victims of table saw accidents in the U.S. every year. Everyday, one table saw accident occurs every nine minutes.

Thousands of people who have been injured are filing table saw injury lawsuits against the manufacturers for failing to include the safety devices that could have protected their customers from the loss of fingers, arms, hands, as well as suffering excruciating pain and medical expenses.

Lawsuits regarding defective table saws led to recalls. In 2012, California legislators tried to pass a law requiring all table saws sold after January 1, 2015 to have flesh-sensing safety technology. They say this law would prevent thousands of injuries and billions in costs to the public. The matter has passed in the state assembly 52-2 and is now awaiting a decision in the Senate.

Did you know that 4,000 of the estimated 65,000 table saw injuries annually require amputation? These dangerous table saws cause more injuries than any other woodworking tool. The SawStop safety technology has been available for more than a decade, but not all table saw manufacturers have adopted it. The world’s largest tool manufacturers have still rejected it.

For the most part, table saw design has remained unchanged in the past 50 years and the cost of adding a safety device would add about $100 to the price of the saw. Consumer advocates are asking the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the federal agency responsible for keeping Americans protected against dangerous products, to require manufacturers to include the new safety mechanism. Due to the industry’s opposition since 2003, it still is unchanged.

It seems that manufacturers are more concerned with keeping the price of the saw more affordable, even if it takes a back seat to safety. The Power Tool Institute, an industry group representing Black & Decker and Bosch, said the price of their table saws would “increase dramatically” eliminating low-priced bench-top saws, and SawStop would have an unfair market advantage.

I doubt anyone who has lost fingers, hands or arms to table saw injuries would agree that price is more important than safety. Many of these victims do not have health insurance and will be paying their medical bills, while unable to work, for many years.

Man Awarded $1.5 Million in Table Saw Injury

Carlos Osorio filed a lawsuit against One World Technologies, manufacturer of the Ryobi table saw, after he suffered severe, permanent finger injuries. In March 2010, the Boston Globe published an article about the lawsuit, stating that the manufacturer failed to include skin-sensing safety mechanism. The court found that the manufacturer was liable for failing to include the SawStop mechanism in the table saw. Had this mechanism been included in the table saw, Osorio’s injuries would have been limited to only a 1/8-inch cut on one finger, rather than being left with two unusable fingers and three fingers with no feeling, requiring five surgeries and $384,000 in medical expenses. Osorio was awarded $1.5 million in damages.

If you or someone you know has sustained an injury as a result of a table saw, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact one of our experienced Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878) for more information.

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