Phillip Bryant Obtains Favorable Verdict in Product Liability Claim

PS Partner: Phillip Bryant

We represented: Robert Bosch Tool Corporation

 Venue: U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri

Facts:

Mary Wood purchased a Skil model 3305 table saw for her husband, plaintiff Donald Wood, in November 2009.  On February 28, 2010 Mr. Wood attempted to cut 1 inch strips from the long side of a 4′ X 8′ sheet of 1/4″ flakeboard.  The only support for the work piece was Mr. Wood holding it on the top of the table saw and Mrs. Wood holding the outfeed end.  Three cuts were made successfully.  Six feet into the fourth cut, Mr. Wood experienced what he called a kick back.  The sudden movement resulted in Mr. Wood’s left hand sliding under the blade guard and into the spinning saw blade.

Plaintiff alleged the saw was defective because the saw did not incorporate a new style of guard that was just coming on the market and because the saw did not have flesh detection technology that would have immediatly stopped the blade upon contact with flesh.  Mrs. Wood testified that her husband used the saw another 20 times following his injury.  Some of those uses occurred after this lawsuit was filed.  Defendants contended that the style of guard that was on the saw was reasonably safe, that the new style of guard would not have prevented Mr. Wood’s hand from sliding under the guard and that it was not technologically or economically feasible to include flesh detection technology on the subject saw in 2009.

The jury returned a verdict in the amount of $40,000, substantially less than the plaintiff’s request of $2,000,000.

Verdict and Judgement:  $40,000

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