Defective Products can Strike Anywhere

Defective Products can Strike Anywhere

Sep 29

A recent verdict for the plaintiff that filed suit for severe injuries caused by a defective table saw illustrates that we all live around products that can inflict grievous harm in the most unexpected ways.

Of course, a table saw is inherently dangerous, which is why wood workers treat it with the caution it deserves. But in the case mentioned above, 30-year-old Brandon Stollings was using a Ryobi Model BTS20R table saw that kicked back, something he could not have guarded against and a product defect that could have been easily corrected by adding a riving knife (a curved metal) to the design of the saw to prevent kickbacks. As pointed out in the website of New Tork-based law firm Hach & Rose, LLP, consumers have the right to expect that the products they use are safe. Stollings lost an index finger and part of two fingers in the 2007 incident. It was one of many product liability cases that involved kickback incidents with defective table saws, many of which were only fitted with the riving knife fix in 2010.

Many manufacturers breach their duty of care to their consumers because they are reluctant to go through the added trouble and expense of changing product designs or manufacturing processes which can cause injury to consumers. Manufacturers only take action when they are brought to book with legal action.

This was the case with table saw manufacturers, which had already been warned in 1998 by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that the existing safety features of their table saws were ineffective. A Houston personal injury lawyer would interpret this as a resistance to change and a breach of their duty of care as manufacturers, and present it as such during litigation.

While compensation is available to those who suffer injury from product defects, it would be infinitely preferable to avoid such incidents altogether. Stolling was awarded more than $1 million in damages, but would probably have preferred to keep his fingers.

If you have been injured by a product defect that could have easily been prevented by the manufacturer, you could have a case against the manufacturer as well as the distributor or retailer if they had known about the defect but failed to warn you about them. Consult with a product liability lawyer in your area to find out your legal options.


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