Manufacturers have a legal duty to consumers to ensure that the products they put on the market for distribution are functional and safe. When this duty is compromised and a consumer is harmed while utilizing the product the way it was intended, he or she now has grounds to seek legal recourse for their injuries. Consumers have a reasonable expectation that the products they buy and use be effectively designed and marketed. When manufacturers or other parties in the distribution process drop the ball and put their customers in danger, they should compensate the victim for the injuries they've sustained.
A man from Philadelphia filed a personal injury claim against Ryobi Technologies Inc., alleging that he was injured due to the manufacturer's defective table saw. Nineteen-year-old Alex Mai had no prior experience using a table saw when he was asked to cut a length of flooring. Right before he had finished cutting the wood completely in half, the wood struck the back of the saw blade, causing a serious kickback accident. The force from the incident pushed his fingers right into the sharp and rapidly spinning saw blade. As a result, his right middle finger was quickly severed at the knuckle. Mai also suffered permanent nerve damage to his right index finger.
According to Mai's attorneys, his injuries were completely preventable. They claim that his injuries stem from the manufacturer's failure to implement “SawStop” technology in the saw blade. Mai's lawsuit alleges that if the technology was intact, it would have been able to detect that the saw had come in contact with his flesh and set off a chain reaction that stops the spinning blade within 5 milliseconds of detection. The technology was licensed by Ryobi in 2002.
Mai's lawyers proceeded to mention that Ryobi never got to implement the technology due to its refusal to pay royalties for the invention. Also, the manufacturer had continuously disregarded warnings from the Consumer Product Safety Commission regarding the rising number of injuries people had sustained from the saw blade's defective design. The lawyers asserted that the manufacturer continued to sell, distribute and market the product despite their knowledge of the saw blade being dangerous to consumers for several years before finally implementing a new and guard design.
The manufacturer recently reached a $2 million settlement for the serious injuries inflicted to Mai's right hand.
This is not the first time Ryobi has been sued and it definitely is not the first time the manufacturer has provided a massive payout to an injured customer. A man by the name of Carlos Osorio had to undergo five surgeries after a Ryobi table saw severely mutilated his hand when he was laying hardwood floors a few years ago. He was awarded $1.5 million for his injuries.
If you have been injured due to the actions (or lack thereof in this case) of a manufacturer, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Caulder Valentine today for a consultation.