Austin, TX, US
In browsing through many of the responses I was struck by the similarity to another safety issue.
Elevators used to cause the loss of arms and legs as people tried to stop doors from closing so they could catch the elevator. The manufacturers did not want to install safety features because it would make their product too expensive.
The argument was made that if they were stupid enough to stick their hands/arms/legs into the closing door of an elevator, they deserved what they got. This is the same kind of social Darwinism argument that a number of respondents made.
Lawsuits were won, governmental regulations were implemented, and elevators now have safety mechanisms and required inspections to make sure they are operational. We also no longer have news stories about people being maimed by elevators.
Would adding $120 to the price of table saws affect their sales - certainly to some extent. In a cost benefit analysis is it worthwhile (bearing in mind not only the cost to the user but the cost to society of medical expenses, lost productivity, and in some cases disability payments)? Opinions may differ, but if this jury award stands, I suspect the manufacturers will alter their judgment “that safety doesn’t sell” and we will all be the safer for it.
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