Steve Gass, creator and manufacturer of SawStop, demonstrated his confidence in his product by placing his own finger at risk of mutilation in the path of an active blade. After the blade successfully halted milliseconds before disaster would have otherwise occurred if an ordinary saw was used, Gass described the experience as “a buzz or a tickle.” This description is an analogy claim that serves as a sales pitch to viewers of this nail biting demonstration. Comparing his experience to such benign sensations highlights the effectiveness of his product.
The National Consumers League campaigned on behalf of a law that requires the use of SawStop safety mechanisms on all table saws by gathering woodworkers who have suffered injuries. These victims made a recommendation claim by advocating for the implementation of this law. Coming from those who have been directly affected by table saw injuries adds a tremendous amount of strength to the claim. Their opinions hold much more weight than those whose lives have not been impacted by the hazards that table saws pose.
- Industry Spokespeople
The Power Tool Institute (PTI) strongly opposes Gass’ attempt to promote legislation that would require all table saws to have a safety feature, like that of his product. The PTI makes an ethical claim by arguing that Gass’ proposal is highly immoral. Gass has a patent on the technology and “…is asking for 8 percent licensing/royalties on the wholesale price of each saw sold.” Therefore, the implementation of such a law would result in “near-extortion and [a] monopoly position.” Their claim is centered around the idea that Gass has selfish intentions by advocating for this law, in which he receives a large royalty fee.
- Consumer Safety Advocates
Bob Adler, a commissioner at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, has publicly commented on SafeSaw. “‘What you have is somebody who has invented a dramatic technology that seems to reduce virtually all the injuries associated with table saws.’” Adler’s description serves as a causal claim; he explains that as a direct result of Gass’ invention, essentially every table saw injury can be eliminated.
- Injured Plaintiffs
The lawsuit on behalf of Carlos Osorio, a victim of severe table saw injuries, heavily relies on the use of quantitative claims to emphasize the damage that could have easily been prevented if he was using SawStop technology, rather than an ordinary table saw. Osorio’s injuries include “…two unusable fingers and three fingers with no feeling, requiring five surgeries and $384,000 in medical expenses.” The use of these frightening numbers is extremely effective in conveying the appalling and irrevocable damage that has been afflicted upon Osorio. Additionally, another quantitative claim is made when it is explained that if Osorio were using the SawStop safety mechanism, “…[his] injuries would have been limited to a ⅛-inch cut on only one finger.” The drastic contrast between these two outcomes, expressed numerically, serves as a powerful advocate for SawStop.
- Personal Injury Lawyers
The Schmidt Firm is soliciting potential clients to represent in lawsuits against table saw companies. They strongly advocate for SawStop to highlight a safer alternative for the many individuals who have suffered table saw injuries. To do so, they use quantitative claims to emphasize the unnecessary dangers that ordinary table saws impose on their consumers. They stress the alarming statistics that “[e]very year, there are over 40,000 table saw injuries, resulting in more than 4,000 amputations.” In doing so, they hope to connect with clients who feel they are victims of neglect from companies lacking the safety features of SawStop.
- Government Officials
In his statement regarding mandatory safety precautions on table saws, Chairman Inez M. Tenenbaum of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, made categorical claims when he described the nature of table saw injuries as “very serious.” He further categorized these injuries, “…including fractures and avulsions, as well as amputations,” as gruesome and life altering. By describing these injuries in this manner, he has emphasized their severity and, therefore, has supported his stand on this proposed rulemaking.
- News Reporters
Chris Arnold of National Public Radio showed his support of Gass’ innovation when he discovered SawStop in an ad featured in a magazine. After speaking with Gass directly, Arnold claimed, “It turned out he had a pretty amazing story to tell.” Using the word “amazing” to describe Gass’ invention is an evaluative claim. The word “amazing” is subjective and conveys that Arnold formed a positive opinion about SawStop that he wants to convey to his audience.