We learned about Carlos Osorio vs. One World Technologies Inc. et al (aka Ryobi) from KnotScott here. Here’s the original news story: Man wins $1.5m in first of its kind saw case.

At the crux of the lawsuit is the finding that – because the table saw lacked flesh-detecting technology – the saw was therefore defective. This $1.5 million dollar finding must have hundreds of tablesaw amputees calling their lawyers, thousands of lawyers scrambling to find amputees and the table saw industry in an UPROAR.

Our official TC prediction is a class action lawsuit before the end of the year. Glen D. Huey, over at Popular Woodworking, notes that “If flesh-detecting technology, as we know it today, were adopted industry wide, benchtop saws would likely disappear altogether.”

Mr. Huey has done a fabulous job keeping up with the story as it unfolds. Here are his blog posts that cover the developing story, as well as key excerpts:

SawStop Safety System Saga Steams Forward (March 08, 2010)
“SawStop table saws are the only woodworking machines with this technology. Is that about to change? Below is a link to a Boston Globe article detailing a jury-awarded verdict for a lawsuit that’s the first of its kind. We’re working on what this might mean to woodworkers and the woodworking industry. What do you think?”

Actual Table Saws in Use: A Numbers Game (March 17, 2010)
“”According to the Journal of Trauma, an estimated 565,670 table-saw-related injuries were treated from 1990 to 2007 in U.S. emergency rooms.” That’s an average of 33,274 injuries per year. Of those injuries, it is estimated that 10 percent result in amputation. I found that statistic alarming, and I’m willing to bet that most woodworkers did, too.”

A Response From Ryobi Technologies, Inc. (March 18, 2010)
“While researching the case, we obtained a copy of the Petition For Performance Standards For Table Saws presented to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Inside the document, the Power Tool Institute states, “the costs associated with the proposal [installing flesh-detecting technology] could potentially eliminate some of the least expensive table saws from the market.””

Court Documents: Osorio Wasn’t Using the Guard or Rip Fence (March 25, 2010)
“At the time of the accident, he was trying to make a rip cut on a 2′-long, 2-1/2″-wide by 3/4″-thick piece of oak flooring, according to court records. He was attempting to cut the board “freehand” without the rip fence, according to the documents.”

Are Benchtop Saws Gone? (March 30, 2010)
“…here we are, 10 years after Gass turned out his breakthrough, and no company, not even SawStop, LLC, has entered the benchtop area of the market.”

Forum Discussion and Debate:
For woodworkers, opinions are like table saws… everybody has one :) And in forums they’re definitely not afraid to use them! Here are some threads discussing the lawsuit.

Table saw suit
Tablesaw Accident Lawsuit – PWW Update
Man gets 1.5 million in table saw case
The Irony of the SawStop
What is going on here?? Unbelieveable!!
Osario/Sawstop/ and the tablesaw lawsuit
Another stupid’s day in court