All Replies on Table saw maker not to blame for man slicing his fingers

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View Betsy's profile

Table saw maker not to blame for man slicing his fingers

by Betsy
posted 09-26-2008 09:14 PM

34 replies so far

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4423 days

#1 posted 09-26-2008 09:16 PM

Great. A jury that is alive and kicking

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View gusthehonky's profile


130 posts in 3764 days

#2 posted 09-26-2008 09:27 PM

This is a prime example of a frivolous law suit. Hope he has to pay all legal fees for defendant and all court costs.

-- Ciao, gth.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4241 days

#3 posted 09-26-2008 09:31 PM

The guy should have to pay Delta’s legal expenses.

That’s one of the problems with the system… people sue because they don’t have much to lose, and they know they just might hit the jackpot.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View lew's profile


12100 posts in 3778 days

#4 posted 09-26-2008 10:11 PM

Is that the way today!

No matter what happens to you and how carelessly you act- it’s always the fault of someone else. Thank goodness juries are beginning to realize that people have to be responsible for their own actions.

Thanks, Betsy.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Christopher's profile


576 posts in 3943 days

#5 posted 09-27-2008 05:14 AM

I wish people would realize what reasonable doubt means as well.

View mattm's profile


27 posts in 3669 days

#6 posted 09-27-2008 06:10 AM

Huh, interesting. Makes me wonder about what happened before the trial. Usually in a case like this the defendant will just try to settle beforehand, to avoid the cost of a trial. I wonder if this guy rejected whatever they offered because he thought he’d be able win more at trial.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4183 days

#7 posted 09-27-2008 01:58 PM

I had a feeling that our society was starting to change and this type of lawsuit was going to become part of our past. Here is my proof—one step at a time, the people are saying “no more”. Thanks for sharing!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 3776 days

#8 posted 09-27-2008 04:43 PM

Woohoo, I am glad common sense prevailed here!

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Yettiman's profile


163 posts in 3760 days

#9 posted 09-27-2008 05:59 PM

At last a verdict for common sense. At last the law gives no credence to the basic pricinple, that people owe themselves duty of care rather than demanding compensation for their own stupidity. I feel sorry for the chap who lost his fingers, but it was his fault not the saw design.

-- Keep your tools sharp, your mind sharper and the coffee hot

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

273 posts in 3775 days

#10 posted 10-16-2008 06:18 AM

Maybe there’s hope for our legal system after all!

I wil hold my tounge on this one. Yes that type of case is running our system to much. No back to hiding from the dog. :)

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3918 days

#11 posted 10-16-2008 06:50 AM

It was certainly interesting to see this case come up. I would like to have known what the pre-trial offers/demands were as well. It could be that Delta offered nothing. A lot of defendants are finally saying that they would rather take their chances at trial as opposed to saving money on legal fees by settling before trial. In other words, some defendants are saying, “I know if I settle now, even though we are not wrong, it will cost me less” but “if I take it to trial it may cost me more in legal fees but I have a good chance of winning the moral victory.” As I recall, Disney did this a number of years ago and actually got a reputation for not settling and taking every case to trial. It soon found itself with a lot less claims. When the plaintiff’s lawyers could not make a good buck on taking cases that would settle for very little effort, it was no longer profitable to take those little cases. So now when you see a case against Disney – you know there is probably some merit to it. Not that every case is a bad mark against Disney – just that a lawyer thinks he’s got a good chance of winning. There are several other corporations that are taking this hard line. Maybe Delta is one of them. A lawyer is not going to take a case on unless he/she thinks they will win – because they don’t make money unless they win. They make more money by settling without going to trial. Going to trial is a very expensive and risky proposition. It can be lucrative, but it’s expensive and risky all the same.
I’m rambling – sorry.

Long and short though – use your safety devices and if you loose a finger—- don’t blame the saw.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View woodchips's profile


238 posts in 3987 days

#12 posted 10-16-2008 07:52 AM

wow when i first read this i thought to myself, “hey wait a minute that’s like saying the gun manufacturer is responsible for me shooting myself in the foot because they designed the gun to hold bullets”.

thank goodness for a jury that used some common sense. hopefully next time the guy will use featherboards and a pushstick or some sort.


-- "Repetition is a leading cause of carelessness, and carelessness usually leads to injury"

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


510 posts in 3620 days

#13 posted 10-16-2008 06:16 PM

Um, there are people suing gun manufacturers for shooting deaths and violence.

Then there is this one.

Just do a google on gun manufacturer law suits and prepare to be amazed.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View mart's profile


190 posts in 3647 days

#14 posted 11-02-2008 09:12 PM

The thought of suing someone when I lost my left middle finger tip (back to the knuckel) to a table saw, never crossed my mind. I was using my employer’s saw (on my own time) when the accident happened. My fault, my error and my responsibilty. I sure do miss that finger tip though. I used to type 60 wpm, now about 15-20. Eight years later I lost my left thumb tip letting down my 35 hp boat motor. I was holding the motor forward with my right hand and manipulating the motor lock down lever with my left hand. The wake from another boat caused me to loose my hold with my right hand and the moter pivoted down catching my thumb tip between the motor and the transom mount. It cleanly sheared about 3/8” off my thumb. I still didn’t consider suing anyone. I sure felt stupid and have endured endless jokes about my digitary shortcomings. I actually enjoy the jokes but would never consider going before a jury to ask for money for my own stupidity.


View Bob42's profile


456 posts in 3813 days

#15 posted 11-02-2008 09:39 PM

I am a New Yorker born and raised here, and glad to see that their are still some good jury”s here. I thought they all left. We have to be accountable for the things we do. You can’t get a free ride when you screw up.
I am thinking of going to N. Carolina soon. In a couple of years. My wife is really starting to like the idea.

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3745 days

#16 posted 11-03-2008 01:33 AM

This jury got it right. I wonder if the verdict would have been the same on the West Coast?

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Steve2's profile


75 posts in 3593 days

#17 posted 11-03-2008 02:01 AM

Don’t get too excited yet folks – while we all regret the injury and side with Delta, the suit also named the employer who does have some degree of responsibility of training diligence and safe operations. The report above came from the defendants (employer) and Marinez says he is appealing.

-- Regards, Steve2

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 3743 days

#18 posted 11-13-2008 05:16 PM

Can I sue Mother Nature for putting splinters in wood?

-- christopheralan

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4044 days

#19 posted 11-13-2008 05:40 PM

I don’t know the complete circumstances but my question is :
Why would it be the employers responsibility to determine the training of the employee other than to provide adequate safety training?

I seems like we may now need a third party validator to decide if a worker qualifies for the task(s) required.
In addition, we need a third party validator to determine if the task is a safe one.
The first requirement has traditionally been handled by the trade schools and the unions.
The second by OSHA etc.
I can only see the employer being responsible if he hires people out of that mandate.
I know that often folks are hired on the strength of their résumés but is that a valid reference if an injury occurs?


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View gusthehonky's profile


130 posts in 3764 days

#20 posted 11-13-2008 06:00 PM

This a tough one, was it an accident(they occure), was he ill or poorly trained, or even aware of the dangers inherent while using this machine? Was it used in the manner the saw was built(was it used for falling timber?) Could this be his ticket to a plush early retiremnt or a way to “cash in”? Who knows.

Luckily this LJ forum is composed of a likeminded group who love wood and respect the tools, either, hand or powered, which produced the end result. I’m glad this is not a fellow LJ, and kinda glad Delta was not forced to settle…............................................JM$0.02

-- Ciao, gth.

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 3743 days

#21 posted 11-26-2008 05:29 PM

Can I sue Ford if I drive my truck off a bridge for not making a floating truck?

-- christopheralan

View RichinsCarpentry's profile


44 posts in 3488 days

#22 posted 11-30-2008 09:59 AM

IT will float!!! But only for a few minutes.

-- See our blog at

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3897 days

#23 posted 11-30-2008 01:59 PM

Beechcraft got sued by an estate once. A guy flew into a box canyon and ran into a granite cloud. The estate claimed that Beechcraft didn’t build enough climb capability into the aircraft. They lost, but Beech had to defend itself at (probably) considerable cost.

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 4005 days

#24 posted 11-30-2008 02:58 PM

I used to love this country, I am not saying that I don’t love it anymore but it is not the same place my grandparents and my parents told me it was. Lawyers, and the politicians that cater to them, have dismantled what helped to make this country great. The people also have responsibility for electing fools to office. If the revolution starts I will be joining. Where is my pick fork and torch we need to start hanging some of the crooks in office <grin> maybe then they will start working for us instead of for themselves.

Dang, sounds like I am in a bad mood <laugh> I better go back to sleep and get up on the other side of the bed :)

I am truly thankful that I live here in the USA so that I can voice my opinion and not have to worry (to much) about the police knocking at my door just because I want real change instead of what we go.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3735 days

#25 posted 11-30-2008 04:42 PM

maybe this guy should look in to buying a sawstop for his shop then this type of thing will not happen again. i say this all the time and i’ll say it again, you have to be smarter then the machine your using.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View ChuckM's profile


608 posts in 3689 days

#26 posted 11-30-2008 11:21 PM



Shouldn’t cases like this be thrown out of the court well before they reach they jury? Judges have power to do so and should do so to avoid wasting the public money.

If you think such cases don’t hurt you, think again: manufacturers have to absorb their legal cost or budget for them in their prices!

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View Joey's profile


276 posts in 3838 days

#27 posted 12-01-2008 08:20 PM

my company was once sued for not continuing to use an A/C vendor that we had used for a couple of years. He’s lawyer’s thought was that since we had used him more than once we had an implied contract to continue to use him on all of our apartment complexes. We got it put into federal court and the federal magistrate told his attorny that it was a stupid case and that it should go away, but didn’t through it out. They have to go through a process to determine whether they are legitimate or not. In the mean time it cost my company well over $20,000 to defend it and of course it was cheaper to settle out of court than to go to trial. So that’s what we did. But our attorny made the mistake of telling us when we were settleing that we needed to make sure we settled for enough to cover his attorney’s bill. I though my boss was going to kill him. After much cussing and telling him where most attorneys can go, we came to a cheaper figure. Most attorneys are just scum.

-- Joey, Magee, Ms

View ChuckM's profile


608 posts in 3689 days

#28 posted 12-01-2008 09:56 PM

“Most attorneys are just scum.” That statement also partly reflects the deficiency of the legal system.

As far as I know, the meanest jokes circulating on the Internet are on and about lawyers (blondes may be relieved to know that … but not if they happen to be in the attorney profession).

Couldn’t you company consider countersuing the other fellow? Sometimes it’s a tactic a defendant lawyer would use to get the best settlement over the original suit for his or her client. I know of a company which used that tactic to reach an out-of-the-court settlement under which the only cost to the company was the legal costs it incurred. No compensation nor any other money was received by the plaintiff party which had to cover its own costs. The company I know was prepared to go all the way in order to teach the other guy a lesson and the lesson was well served. Justice not money was all that company was concerned about. I hope more companies will act like that and not let people who don’t have a genuine case off the hook.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View DRdeveloper's profile


23 posts in 3488 days

#29 posted 12-03-2008 04:43 AM

I saw a demo of this product where a guy actually stuck his finger into the saw ON PURPOSE and came out almost entirely unscathed (a little drop of blood and a small cut, but nothing like I would have imagined).

This really has nothing to do with the lawsuit, but the discussion made me think of it and I keep thinking that if I ever buy a saw for a commercial purpose (where I have some money in the budget and several people will be using it) I would DEFINATELY get one of these.

Take a look – it’s pretty amazing.

-- Mark, Dominican Republic

View ChuckM's profile


608 posts in 3689 days

#30 posted 12-03-2008 06:54 AM

Hi Mark,

The sawstop contractor model is now selling for $1500 Cdn here. Some shops are now equipping the cabinet model (twice the price) for safety reasons (it’s cheaper from a compensation / productivity point of view). You can see the demos (using a sausage instead of a finger!) in person in woodworking shows in the US. But I heard you’ll have to the installation yourself. Not sure about that though. The price could come down a bit if the economy keeps tanking….

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3710 days

#31 posted 12-03-2008 07:20 AM

I believe that this guys Mom is the reason that McDonalds has to put the HOT warning on their coffee cups !

The problem with common sense is that it’s just not very common anymore : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3736 days

#32 posted 12-03-2008 05:35 PM

There Is one other factor which runs out of control in our society today. GREED., everyone seems to be looking for something. How about changing it so that anyone that than is defeated in this type of lawsuit being required to pay all of the expences of the defendent including the time spent and any loss of good name that the judge may believe has resulted from this suit.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Joey's profile


276 posts in 3838 days

#33 posted 12-11-2008 06:34 PM

It came down to economics. It was cheaper to settle than to go to court. We had already spent close to 20,000 in just depositions and research. Our attorneys specialize in discremination defense and charge accordingly. In the settlement aggreement, the other guys attorney, who was his sister in law, put in a clause that we could not counter sue, and we admitted no wrong doing. SCUM

-- Joey, Magee, Ms

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 3716 days

#34 posted 12-11-2008 07:51 PM


-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

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