A Pennsylvania man has filed a lawsuit against Makita Corp., a company based in Japan, claiming a table saw the company manufactures is a dangerous product. The suit comes after the man sustained a serious injury to his fingers while using the saw for its intended purpose. He feels the overall saw design is what makes it such a dangerous product. The report did not give details of the injury to the man's fingers, only saying that it was severe, disfiguring and permanent.
The table saw was equipped with a blade guard, as is the United States' requirement for all table saws sold in this country. However, for some cuts a user may need to make, the guard has to be removed. The plaintiff stated that attempting to use the blade guard on this particular saw is challenging. It is also difficult to put the guard back on the saw once it is removed, so it is not usually reattached by most users, according to the lawsuit.
Also located on the blade guard is a mechanism called a splitter, which is supposed to stop woodchips from kicking back and striking the user. When the blade guard is off, so is the splitter and the user can be sprayed with woodchips, causing various injuries. The plaintiff claims that the manufacturer should have chosen to use a riving knife that reduces or eliminates kickbacks instead of a splitter or should have implemented technology known as SawStop, which causes the blade to stop when it touches skin.
The plaintiff states that had the company chosen to employ either a riving knife or the SawStop technology on this table saw his injuries would have been much less severe or he may not have been injured at all. Dangerous product injuries like this happen more often than manufacturers would like to admit. Pennsylvania residents who have sustained injuries caused by dangerous products may pursue reparation for medical treatment, legal fees and the loss of future income.
Source: The Pennsylvania Record, Pa. consumer injured by table saw sues Japanese manufacturer Makita Corp., Jon Campisi, Jan. 14, 2014