Safer Saws-palal24

E07:Safer Saws Claims – palal24

  1. Manufacturers

1A.  The additional cost to manufacturers (to install the technology) is estimated to be between $150-$200 per product, an amount that will be passed on to the consumer.

1B.  One of the reasons manufacturers object to installing the sawstop technology is because of the added costs.

1C.  This is a cause and effect claim.  Installing the technology would cause an increase in price, which is then passed on to the consumer.

1D.  Manufacturers claim that installing technology that would help prevent injuries from table saws would increase the costs of manufacturing between $150-$200 per product.  They also claim that this cost would be passed on to the consumer.  Consumers would then need to decide whether safety outweighs the additional cost when purchasing a table saw.

1E.  Installing the sawstop technology would cause an increase in price to the  consumers due to the additional costs incurred.  On top of the installation costs, manufacturers must pay Sawstop an 8% licensing fee.  Until government regulation forces manufacturers to use Sawstop technology, they will continue to either develop their own safety technology or continue to produce table saws as usual.

  1. Customers

2A.   Sawstop technology is available in the marketplace to any consumer who chooses to purchase it.

2B.  Customers who rate safety over price will likely choose to pay more to prevent devastating injuries.

2C.  This is an inferential claim in that customers who prefer to keep their appendages will pay more for safety technology than those customers who are driven by price.

2D.  This is pure common sense.  If there is a safer way to use a table saw, but it costs more, then the consumer makes a choice based on priorities.  It is similar to purchasing an iron.  I can go to Best Buy and purchase the $100 iron that has steam guard technology and shuts off after a certain period of time, or I can purchase the $25 iron and risk an injury if I am careless, or cause a fire if I forget to turn the iron off when I leave the room.  It comes down to consumers making the best choice based on their priorities.

  1. Industry Spokespeople

3A.  Consumer choice can dictate whether this technology, and its associated potential issues and added costs, will gain widespread acceptance by consumers.

3B.  In capitalism, the marketplace determines which businesses fail and which businesses succeed.  Consumers decide in the marketplace whether to pay more for a table saw that has state of the art safety technology, or pay less for tables saws that do not have the technology.

3C.  This is a factual claim.  Consumers in the marketplace determine the success or failure of a business based on supply and demand in an economy based on capitalism principles.

3D.  The question here is should government legislate safety standards, and where does it draw the line?  Safety legislation is important, for example the FDA makes sure that drug manufacturers implement procedures that would not cause harm to consumers.  However, how involved should the government become in the table saw controversy?  There is no safety legislation for stupidity.  Wearing helmets while riding a motorcycle seems like a very good idea, and is legislated in many states.   In other states, however, wearing a helmet is a matter of choice.  I infer that those states that allow choice have a higher rate of injury or death from motorcycle riding.  That does not mean that I agree with government taking away my choice whether or not to wear a helmet.

  1. Consumer Safety Advocates

4A.   There are estimates of 30,000 annual emergency room treated injuries involving table saws, with approximately 90% of the injuries occurring to the fingers and hands and 10% of the injuries involving amputation.

4B.   Table saw injuries are not uncommon and cause significant costs, both personal and business related.

4C.  This is a factual claim, based on hard data.  See below.  What is not known is how many injuries are caused through kickbacks (which Sawsafe technology does not prevent), or through user carelessness (such as removing a safety guard and not putting it back on the saw).

4D.  Adler, P. (February 2002). Data Report. Table Saw Related Iniuries And Fatalities (1991-2000). U.S. Consumer  Product Safety Commission: Bethesda, MD. Data report was cleared and presented to UL table saw working group on February 6,2002. (TAB C, Appendix C)

  1. Injured Plaintiffs

5A.  In the Robert Bosch lawsuit, the plaintiff claims that Bosch actively lobbied the Consumer Product Safety Commission…to prevent the adoption of flesh detection systems as a safety standard on table saws.

5B.  Lobbyists in government…who would have thought?

5C.  This is factual, as industry spokespeople have made their objections to mandating Sawstop safety technology known.

5D.  The Bosch lawsuit came about under unfortunate circumstances in which a customer was injured using a table saw manufactured by Bosch.  Interestingly, Sawstop filed a $10 million lawsuit in February, 2014, claiming that big manufacturers joined forces to spurn the technology.  Therefore, Sawstop is now an “injured plaintiff”, although it is economic injury, not personal injury.

  1. Personal Injury Lawyers

6A. Every year, thousands of people are severely injured after using table saws. For more than a decade, flesh-sensing safety technology has been available that could prevent almost all table saw injuries. Unfortunately, the manufacturers have refused to adopt it. Now, many people who have been injured are bringing table saw injury lawsuits against table saw manufacturers for failing to include the safety devices that would protect their customers from losing fingers, hands, arms, and suffering unfathomable pain.

                6B.  To paraphrase, there is money to be made!

6C.  Claim 1 is factual.  There are thousands of people severely injured every year.  Claim 2 is  arguable in that it has not been proven that almost all table saw injuries could be prevented, as other studies have shown that kickback causes many, if not most, of table saw injuries.  Claim 3 is factual as manufacturers have refused to adopt Sawstop technology.  Claim 4 is factual in that there are many table saw injury lawsuits involving failure to install safety devices.

6D.  Personal Injury Lawyers advertise widely and look to represent injured plaintiffs while collecting a significant portion of the award as their fee.    Their mission is to get money for their clients, of which they receive a percentage.  So it seems counterintuitive to believe that personal injury lawyers file lawsuits to prevent future injury, as it would reduce the number of clients filing lawsuits, and thus reduce potential revenue.

  1. Government Officials

7A.  Many industry representatives believe that modification of consumer behavior through information and education campaigns could best address the hazard. Despite efforts by the table saw industry to educate consumers on the safe use of table saws, severe injuries continue to occur at a high cost to society and the victims.

7B.  Consumers cannot be adequately educated to protect themselves from table saw injuries.

7C.  Claim 1 is opinion.  Industry representatives believe that education and information can help reduce table saw injuries.  Claim 2 is factual as severe injuries continue to occur, despite consumer education.

7D.  This speaks again the consumer behavior, whether it is cautious and educated, or sloppy and dangerous as it pertains to the use of table saws.  The government’s perspective is that people need to be protected from themselves, instead of letting the marketplace dictate consumer choice.  I believe that safety legislation is necessary and vital in many different areas, but I am not sure how convinced I am that a patented safety technology for table saws should be mandated by law.

  1. News Reporters

8A.  Stephen Gass – Guy Puts His Fingers Into An Active Blade and Keeps His Finger!

8B.  Social Media sells everything!  Is this entertainment?  Is it education?

8C.  Factual Claim…how do you dispute this video?

8D.  News reporters exist to entertain, educate and sway audiences (I can think of one news channel in particular who is competent at advancing a political agenda).  News reporters are powerful in that they can report fact, opinion, or a mixture of both.  In the case of Sawstop technology, there are news reporters who use social media to sensationalize, gather attention, market and educate.  There are also news reporters who closely follow pending government legislation, and there are news reporters who report strictly business related topics.  News reporters have remarkable influence on audiences, and depending upon the agenda, can tip opinion on a topic either way.  With the plethora of lawsuits, and the gruesomeness of the injuries, the societal cost of this issue makes this an attractive news story.  Some of the articles I have read, however, contain opinion based on the agenda of the news reporter.  For example, are they for or against government regulation?  Are they siding with industry spokespeople?  Are they marketing a product or service?  All of these questions and bit of skepticism serves me well when reading a news story about table saw safety.

  1. Anti-Trust Lawyers/Patent Attorneys (extra credit!)

9A.  Sawstop, LLC, the world leader in table saw safety, today announced that it has filed complaints at the U.S. International Trade Commission and that U.S. District Court in Oregon against Robert Bosch GmbH of Germany and its subsidiary Robert Bosch Tool Corporation to stop infringement of Sawstop’s patented inventions. “Sawstop Sues Bosch Over REAXX Table Saw”.

9B.  On July 21, 2015, Sawstop initiated another lawsuit against Bosch.  The lawsuit claims Bosch is selling a table saw with safety technology that Sawstop claims infringes on its patent.

9C.  The claim is yet to be determined by the International Trade Commission.  However, there appears to be significant differences in how Bosch’s technology works versus Sawstop technology.  For example, Bosch uses an air bag instead of a mechanical block which saves the blade.  The blade is destroyed with Sawstop technology.

9D.  It is counterintuitive to me that Sawstop is fighting with another manufacturer who proposes to initiate better safety standards for table saws.  However, business is business, and if Sawstop truly believes there is a patent violation, then they are justified in filing a lawsuit.  It seems hypocritical to me to stop another manufacturer from enacting the same safety standards that Sawstop pleaded for so many years.  Maybe it is all about the money, Sawstop?

  1. Safety Engineers (extra credit!)

9A.  The Sawstop will likely have a large impact on product liability cases involving table saws.  Often state or federal laws require plaintiffs to show a solution to a hazard in a product.  These solutions are sometimes patents showing technology that could have prevented a particular accident, sometimes it is alternate designs created by engineers that are based on engineering principles.

9B.  Safety engineers play a vital role in protecting companies from product liability cases.

9C.  Claim 1 is factual in cases where the plaintiff has to show a solution to a hazard in a product.  However, there are other table saw manufacturers that can make the same claim, using technology created by their safety engineers.  Claim 2 is also factual as laws can differ from place to place, but federal and state law can require showing a solution to a hazard.  Claim 3 is also factual as patents and or alternate designs can be a solution to a hazard.

9D.  Speaking again to the 2015 lawsuit that Sawstop initiated against Bosch, I can argue that Bosch has taken steps to increase table saw safety by engineering an alternate design to ensure that blade related injuries are mitigated.  Safety engineers are compensated well for creating a product that will reduce potential liability while increasing safety measures.

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