Posted on September 14, 2012 in Products Liability
Power tools – – from powered nailers, wood saws to wood chippers – – injure hundreds of thousands of people every year. See, Baldwin, Forbes, “The Most Dangerous Power Tools.” (12/21/09). These tools present obvious hazards- – from cutting blades that spin at high rpms to nailers that fire with muzzle velocities rivaling handguns. See, Frank, et al. Ballistic Parameters in Trauma Potential of Direct Acting Power Actuating Faceting Tools, 126 (2), Int. J. Legal Med. 217 (Mar 2012).
For years, manufacturers have stood behind the obviousness of such hazards as a defense to product defects. However, these tools can be guarded to protect users and bystanders. Power tools are useful in our society; but their dangerous capacities produce a significant human cost, ranging from grievous amputations to death. The products liability attorneys at Galfand Berger have dedicated a key area of their practice to protecting workers and consumers injured by such potentially deadly and dangerous instrumentalities. From routers, table saws, miter saws, powered nailers, to other powered tools, Galfand Berger’s attorneys have successfully obtained significant recoveries to compensate injured victims.
Power Tool Accident Statistics Reported by the Consumer Product Safety Commission
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year there are approximately 400,000 emergency room visits resulting from power tool accidents and nearly 200 deaths. Consumers may be using their tools properly and responsibly, and yet injuries can still occur. Often times, these devastating and preventable injuries are caused by a product defect design flaw or lack of appropriate instructions or warnings.
Injuries from power tool accidents range from minor injuries such as lacerations and abrasions to catastrophic injuries including amputations, burns, electrical shock, eye injuries and lost lives. Some of the power tools that have caused serious injuries to consumers include nail guns, log splitters, table, circular and miter saws, trimmers, wood chippers, sanders, and drills.
Be Aware of Recent Power Tool Recalls
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, the most recent power tool that has been recalled is a miter saw manufactured by the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation of Mount Prospect, Illinois. Approximately 22,149 of the SkilSaw 10-inch miter saws have been recalled due to the potential risk of users suffering an injury. The lower blade guard on the tool could break and come in contact with the blade creating a laceration hazard. The products were sold throughout the country from January 2012 to April 2012 at OC Tanner and Lowe’s Home Center stores. Consumers are urged to check their tool for the model number 3316 and to stop using the tool. Consumers can contact the company for a free replacement kit.
Earlier this year, another voluntary recall was issued for over 55,000 circular saw blade packs. The 10-inch circular saw blades that were manufactured by Irwin Industrial Tool Company were sold in a 3-pack at Lowe’s stores nationwide. Defective packaging was responsible for the recall. The danger of the blades falling out of the package posed a laceration hazard to consumers.
Successful Litigation Against Table and Miter Saw Manufacturers
In particular, Galfand Berger’s attorneys have litigated claims against table saw and miter saw manufacturers because, among other things, their saws lack proper or adequate blade braking technology. Specifically, table saws, in particular, and miter saws have the capacity to be equipped with a braking system that detects human contact with the spinning blade so that the blade will stop within two one thousandths (2/1000) of a second from when it is touched and thereby prevent grievous injuries from horrific amputations; instead users only have a small cut or an injury that can be repaired with a few stitches. This technology, attributed to SawStop, a manufacturer that has marketed table saws with this safety device, has been marketed for at least a decade, has won numerous awards. It has been recognized as an innovative invention by Time magazine and Popular Mechanics. SawStop technology has already been used in hundreds of finger saves and has prevented life altering and career ending accidents.
If you have been a victim of an injury as a result of the use of a table saw, miter saw or other type of woodcutting saw, contact Galfand Berger to see if they can provide you with legal representation to help you with regard to the damages you have suffered.
Pursuing a Power Tool Accident Claim
Manufacturers and distributors of all products, including power tools, have a legal duty to make and sell products that are safe when used for their intended purpose. Instructions on proper use need to be clearly written and included with the product. In addition, all known dangers need to be visibly identified on a warning label. Manufacturers and suppliers can be held legally responsible for accidents or injuries that occur due to a manufacturing defect, a design defect or warnings defect in their products. Any user or bystander that is injured as a result of a defective product has the right to pursue a lawsuit against any responsible parties. Victims may be eligible to receive compensation for their personal injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Call the Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a power tool accident at home or at work, we encourage you to contact our power tool accident lawyers at the law firm of Galfand Berger. Our attorneys will fully examine the details of your case to determine whether you have a valid claim against the product manufacturer, employer or even a property owner if working at someone else’s residence. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Reading and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, as well as Burlington, New Jersey. Contact the products liability attorneys at Galfand Berger at 1-800-222-USWA (8792) to schedule a free and confidential consultation or submit a free online inquiry at www.galfandberger.com.