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Submission + - Jury Rules All Table Saws are Unsafe ( 2

SchlimpyChicken writes: An editorial over at cites the first case in which a jury essentially ruled that all table saws should include flesh-detection systems. The verdict was in favor of a defendant who lacerated his hands — apparently due to his own misuse of the table saw. The problem is that they ruled negligence based on technology they felt the Ryobi table saw should have had. The similarity seems to open the door for a veritable onslaught of lawsuits like, for example, penalizing any vehicle manufacturer for accidents involving a car not equipped with anti-lock brakes. The article mentioned the now infamous SawStop technology, which was at the heart of the lawsuit and is no stranger to pushing its technology through the judicial system. If mandated, it would put millions of dollars in licensing fees into a single company and raise the price of every table saw — all but eliminating entry-level models.
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Jury Rules All Table Saws are Unsafe

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  • While the safety tech sounds great, I'm not sure I'd pay the extra for it when just being careful works better. For places like schools and professional settings - I think they should get it but it shouldn't be mandated. Plus, don't you have to replace the brake assembly and blade afterwards? Sure, it's cheaper than replacing a finger but it's still something to consider.
    • It's $80 for the brake assembly replacement kit and then the blade is likely messed up as well. Essentially, if this becomes mandated there would be no more entry level saws of any kind. It won't take long to go from table saws, to miter saws, to circular saws...

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"