Emerald City Legal Services
Client Comment: "Working with Sean was very easy. He kept me informed of the status of the case and also took the time to explain how the process works and where we were in the process." - S.P.
$1.5 million in Table Saw Case:
A 2010 Boston Jury awarded Carlos Osorio $1.5m for suffering serious finger injuries using a tablesaw while cutting oak flooring. Osorio alleged that Ryobi's tablesaw was defectively designed because it failed to use flesh-detection technology that could have prevented his injury. A jury agreed. Osorio's case is only one of many being brought against the tablesaw industry which has ignored and stonewalled against making safety improvements to their tools.
Table Saws are one of the most dangerous tools in the marketplace. Every year there are about 60,000 injuries on table saws; injuries that ruin lives and cost billions of dollars in medical expenses, lost wages, and other economic effects. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission states that table saws cause:
3,000 plus amputations,
$2 billion in injury-related costs,
An injury every 9 minutes!
With 6 million table saws, and 60,000 injuries, then 1 out of 10 will cause a serious injury to someone! And these injuries are horrific; fingers cut off, hands sliced open to the bone, amputations. But table saw design hasn’t changed much in about a century. They are still just as dangerous as they have ever been, with one exception (see below).
I used to be a furniture maker doing antique reproductions. In fact my first career was in the wood products industry, where I worked for 16 years as a furniture and cabinet maker, rough and finish carpenter, cooper (barrel maker), and did custom home remodels. Look at my mini-portfolio. I love woodworking.
I left the industry because it is so dangerous. I know that not getting injured in a woodshop is not just a matter of the woodworker’s skill, good habits, but also a dash of luck, otherwise injuries happen. I’ve shot a nail through a hand, nicked a live router bit, and had a radial arm saw try to eat my left hand. Fortunately I’ve never been injured from a table saw—yet. But I used to regularly spend 6-10 hours a day working on a table saw so I really know how dangerous they are.
I know what a dado, rabbit, tenon, lap, and a half-blind dovetail are, and how to make them. I know what kickback, blade bind, and strobe effect are, and what they do. You don’t have to explain the dangers of a shop to me, because I have my own fully equipped woodshop, and I am a tenant in a large shared commercial woodshop.
I also believe that almost all table saws are defectively designed. Manufacturers could make them safer, the technology exists, but they don’t. They choose to sell a product that they know 1 out of 10 are going to injure someone seriously, rather than license the technology, retool, and sell a safer product.
If you are injured in a woodshop, you need to call me. Most lawyers haven’t a clue as to why the ‘safety’ equipment on a table saw is commonly removed from the saw. They think that if the woodworker takes the ‘safety’ equipment off, the case is done. I know different. I know legal arguments to counter the ‘removal’ argument of the defense. I know why the ‘safety’ equipment is removed. I know how the tool is used. I know how the injuries occur. I know why the manufacturers and retailers should be selling a safer product. And I know how to explain all that to a jury.
If you are a woodworker seriously injured by a table saw, you know that your career in the industry is probably over. You will need a settlement or award that covers your past and future medical bills, lost wages, job retraining, and pain and suffering. You should call a lawyer who has a table saw in their shop and knows all about them. Don’t trust your case to someone who doesn’t truly recognize the unique dangers these tools create. Call a furniture maker who became a lawyer. Call or email me. Our first conversation is always free, so you have nothing to lose by calling me to discuss the merits of your case.
And if you are going to buy a table saw, do yourself a favor, buy this one: www.sawstop.com