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I am a professional expert who spends his life working on cases like this one, you need to appreciate a few things.
1) Media's understanding of any case they cover is horrible at best, criminal at worse. Can not tell you how many times I have read the press's version of case (that I have worked on for a year) and wonder if they were even in the right courtroom.
2) The Boston Globe article gave zero facts on the case. We have no idea what happened, but 12 people in a jury box do, and they awarded the money
3) The argument that there are NO "safety" devices on this machine, but you knew that when you purchased the machine rarely works in front of a jury.
4) Ryobi was in a position to make this device safer yet choose not too. why? Money. That never plays well in front of a jury.
5) Cars we drive have so many safety features that saves lives everyday, you think the car industry would put most of those in if were not worried about lawsuits? no. (seat belts, safety glass, airbags,etc) were all forced on the industry, and that is because of litigation.
Although I work mostly on defense, I realize that fear of litigation has made machines we work with safer and allow most of us to enjoy wood working without injury. In a few years all table saw being sold will have a safety device preventing serious injury, and that will be a good thing.
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