It is unfortunate for a man to lose his fingers. What's more unfortunate is that he probably only recieved a small fraction of the awarded damages.
I agree with all of the others about personal responsibility. Did the man have proper training on how to use the saw, did he have all the safety features of the saw in place?
I applaud the invention and safety of the saw-stop system. If it had been around when I purchased my table saw, I would have probably purchased it. But since I have a pre-2006 table saw, I am not sure of the financial implications of replacing it, nor am I sure of the ethics of passing off such an "unsafe" beast to another. Is their an economical refit?
So, is this a case of David vs Goliath, no. Is this a case of the Government stepping in where it shouldn't, No. Is this a case of "unsafe at any kerf thickness", NO. What it is is a case of pure greed. Follow the money trail and tell me who made out with the money: hint,it isn't the man with the missing digits.
In the mean time, I still use my "unsafe" table saw. I use it when I am alert, and attentive to what I am doing. I keep my blades well sharpened (god I love them Forrest blades). I keep my table-saw well tuned. And though I don't have the blade guard installed on a regular basis, I still have all my digits, and I don't blame anyone but myself when I get hurt.
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