Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Nanny State moves on

According to the Boston Globe, a Malden man just won $1.5 million against Ryobi after he ran his fingers thru a Ryobi table saw. Grounds? The Ryobi table saw did not have an electronic safety device that would stop the blade as soon as it encountered flesh. This from a US district court in Boston.
Such a table saw does exist, trade named "Saw Stop" and according to the various hobby magazines, it actually does work. It's expensive, and rare. I have never seen such a saw, even in stores. It is pretty new, probably had just come on the market at the time the Malden man got clumsy.
As things stand, after this amazing bit of judge made law, all makers of power tools are liable for every accident that happens.
Unless overturned on appeal, this decision will raise the price of power tools by a factor of two. I'm glad I already have all the power tools I'm likely to need.
I'm so glad I live in a representative democracy where laws are made by the legislature.

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