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Myron Levin is editor of FairWarning.

10 comments to “Power Tool Makers Accused in Lawsuit of Thwarting Adoption of Finger-Saving Device”

  1. Sean

    years late to conversation…the whole point of a patent it to allow inventors to create something bring it to market, recoupe and make some money while not inhibiting growth in the industries…the perfect example is the drug industries and why drugs are so expensive the first 10 years. Imagine if one company had control of life saving medication and is charging $100,000 a year (epi-pen) if he had it for life like a musician then that mean for life +100 years million maybe billions of people will miss out on this life saving device for maybe 150 years! Maybe those big companies did invent something better than SawStop’s tech but i’m pretty sure one of there was a key component that’s vital and there’s no way around that without costing a lot! Their patent is almost over and they’ve made over a billion dollars with those 50k in table saw sales…pretty good for a company that makes only 1 product for a niche industry. In the big picture I think everyone wins…these big tool companies are able to incorporate this technology at a price that won’t turn off buyers and millions of fingers/lives will be saved.

  2. Drummer

    That’s what wrong with this country today the rich get richer and have so much money that they couldn’t spend it in 5 or more lifetimes. I’m a victim of the Ryobi saw cutting my thumb off, my life was changed forever. Without hesitation I would have purchase the safest or more expensive tool given the chance. My tools of choice are Dewalt, Milwaukee or Rigid, I’ve been working in the construction industry for over 35 years, I used numerous saw and tools. We know that saws does kick backs, but the different is the guard always saved the operator from any serious damage. I normally don’t purchase Ryobi tools, but I left my other saws at home and at a friend house. If I could rewind my life back to that moment I promise you that I’ll almost give anything to prevent the accident, it changed my life forever. I really can’t understand why the tool manufactures isn’t required to add the right safety mechanism to their product. Let the truth be told it’s all about the money not safety, why haven’t the government step up and enforce them to do the right thing. I guess they can afford lawsuits with all the tools they manufacturing, like the Bible says, “The love of money is the root of all evil”.

  3. Storm Connors

    If you ask someone after the accident if they should have purchased a saw with the saw stop technology they will say yes. On the other hand, if you ask the saw buyer if he wants the $100 saw that will do the job or the safer $300 saw that will do the job which one will he select? Most users don’t use the safety devices provided. Also, note that the Sawstop device requires replacement if it is activated. How many users can afford the time and expense to do so.

  4. Jim Albert

    Just my comments. I really know nothing. Patents run only for 17 years from state of filling. This is totally unfair because sometimes it takes years to develop a new technology . By that time the Patent has run out. people stale your idea and you get nothing. Tesla died broke and didn’t make a dime on his invention of AC. All the saw makers have seen fit to stone wall SawStop. and not license it. . All they have to do is wait a few more years and then they will steal the technology.for free. These guys are so adverse to change that they didn’t even but splitters on there saws to prevent kick backs until the Government got involved… Gass has only a few years left to recouple his investment, that’s why the prices are so high. If it was licensed the price would come down to only slightly more then a common saw. A very clever PR campaign makes SawStop the Villain. I hope SawStop wins big time. The odds are against him however. Our government hates manufacturing and inventors. If you invent something you get 17 years. If you write a song like White Christmas you get life time rights plus 100 years. Be a musician not an inventor in the USA. is the message.

  5. Sean Monahan

    Seems like the saw-stop technology is well tested and able to actually prevent serious injuries, so why isn’t it being implemented? How much more expensive would it be to implement on a new table saw? Accidents happen! It just takes one mistake or distraction and someone can be permanently injured for life and we all know accidents happen so why not add the saw stop technology to existing table saws… But it seems it is going to take a bunch of table saw lawsuits to get this done

  6. len

    Saw a good movie about a electronic teacher who invented the intermittent auto wiper ..he flogged it around to all the auto makers and got no where..one night he saw a auto wiper on a new Ford and started court proceedings.. he lost his marriage and kids took him to be a nut case the case dragged on for yrs and he ended up winning millions each from the car makers…the annoying part is how many lives were lost how many other people with ideas sit back and do nothing. while his invention was denied.

    Ford wanted to pad the dash of their cars until they got a call from GM telling them not to so the story goes.

  7. Tony D Viars

    Ught If I would of known about a devise like this in 2009 it would of saved me from a serious finger ingery that the power saw caught poped up out of the board and went and cut my index finger requireing stiches took out some bone spinters with it I lost some fealing in it and left a scare. About 2.5 inches long on my hand sometimes it goes numb I rely on my hands for a liveing

  8. Jason Burzynski

    I saw a SawStop demo in action earlier this week at the WSC Spring Safety Conference. Very impressive to see this in action. The hotdog that served as a proxy barely had a scratch on it after making contact with the blade! You would walk away with a Band-Aid rather than an amputation. Amazing!

    All of that being said, I was quickly deflated when I asked if the unit could be retro-fitted to an existing table saw. The answer was NO. You have to buy their saw to get the technology… and its not cheap. I know I know, either are amputations.

    Some others in the audience also shared their thoughts and greed on both the big table saw manufacturers and the inventor of this amazing technology seem to be what’s stopping this from appearing and stores while keeping it affordable. Hopefully there can be a compromise and we can see this incredible product implemented worldwide and begin reducing the amount of needless amputations.

    I’m curious to see if OSHA ever cites a company as willful for any table saw amputations since technology exists that could have prevented the injury. Their recent stance on hearing loss and saying that “feasible” abatement just meant the cost of engineering controls shouldn’t put you out of business worries me however!

  9. Joleen Chambers

    Could this kind of conspiracy be happening with the #1 expenditure of medical devices(as of 2008): joint replacements and other implanted medical devices? Sweden had a hip registry in 1979 when their failure rate was 16%: the US is just beginning a voluntary registry (AAJR) now – though in 1997 the hip revision rate was at 18%. In 2006 more than 1 million hip and knee replacements were performed in the U.S. Most adverse events are not reported to the FDA/CDRH. A chairman of Orthopedic Surgery at Stanford University stated “You get a better chance of getting a letter from your car manufacturer if your car is recalled than you do if your hip has been recalled.” In 2009 Registries in Sweden, UK, Canada and Australia have seen up to a 10% reduction in revision rates. A modest 2% decrease in the US revision rate would yield a savings of $65.2 million in 1 year. Profit margins from orthopedic implants can reach 35%, making it a popular investment for venture capital. Only 1% of FDA cleared devices (including implants) go through clinical testing (PMA), the remainder are grandfathered in through 510(k) “substantial equivalence’.

  10. Katie Urbani

    My feeling about this lawsuit concerning Sawstop Corp. is that “Why is it so difficult to do the right thing”. Why do we have to push so hard and fight so long to consider the people we are serving, and not consider them consumers and think first about our profits. We fought for car seat belts, warnings on cigarette labels, back up mirrors in cars. It is not like only one person has to be injured before we take away greed and think of the person involved in the injury, but thousands. What is wrong with us? You ask anyone who has had perminate damage done to his body, if they thought paying a higher price for the Saw would be worth it. It is very hard to fight big business, but as many citizens of the US are realizing, it is worth the fight. What matters is people, we have lost sight of this in our wonderful country. It is a sad thing. Let’s step up here and start going in the right direction.

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