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Philadelphia Man Awarded $2 Million Payout After Defective Saw Blade Cuts off his Middle Finger

Posted by Josh Valentine | Jun 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

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.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person that was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer.  So that's why I became an attorney.  I understand what you are going through—and I'm here to help you.  Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life. Before attending law school, I worked for a law firm focused on record clearing services, including expungements, pardons, and motions for appropriate relief.  The vast experience and understanding of North Carolina's expungement laws that I have acquired has given me an advantage in defending criminal charges, because not only do I fight for the best possible outcome in your case, but I am also continually conscious of the long term effects that a criminal charge or conviction can have on a person's life.  As such, I will do whatever I can to insure that my clients will not end up with a criminal record.  I was born in New London, Connecticut, but spent the first few years of my life in Dallas, Texas, before moving to Rutherfordton, North Carolina in 2001.  Upon graduating from high school, I attended Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, where I majored in Accounting.  Eager to finish school, I began law school at Charlotte School of Law the day of my graduation from GWU, and completed my law degree in two years (instead of the typical three). During law school, I studied hard and strived to acquire the most experience possible so that I would be practice ready upon graduation.  The opportunities I gained included prosecuting criminal defendants through an externship with the Burke County District Attorney's Office, defending criminal defendants through Charlotte School of Law's Criminal Justice Clinic, and interning with Farmer & Morris, PLLC. I am blessed with a beautiful wife, Gabrielle Valentine, who is an attorney at Farmer & Morris, PLLC, in Rutherfordton, North Carolina.  In my free time, I enjoy helping with the youth group in my church, playing basketball and softball in our local church leagues, serving in the prison ministry, and spending time with my family.  Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar


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