DeWalt Table Saw Lawsuit Filed Over Lack of SawStop Technology

Black & Decker faces a product liability lawsuit brought by an Illinois man who alleges that one of the company’s DeWalt table saws was defective and unreasonably defective because if did not feature an available safety technology that would have prevented a severe and permanent injury.

The complaint (PDF) was filed last month by James Boyle in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, indicating that SawStop technology would have allowed him to avoid a hand injury that has left him with a permanent disability.

Boyle indicates that Black & Decker should have installed SawStop or other flesh-detecting technology that immediately halts the table saw the instant the blade touches flesh. Without the available safety feature, Boyle indicates that the DeWalt table saws are unreasonably dangerous.

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Table Saw Lawsuits

Safety Features Missing From Many Table Saws May Have Prevented Serious Injuries and Amputations.


The case joins a growing number of table saw injury lawsuits filed in recent years against Black & Decker and other manufacturers, which claim that amputations, nerve damage and other problems could have ben avoided if the 20 year-old SawStop technology had been adopted by the industry.

According to a 2014 survey analysis (PDF) by theĀ U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), there are about 76,100 table saw injuries annually, based on 2007 and 2008 numbers. The injuries cost a total of about $2.36 billion per year, and leave about 3,000 people a year have with an amputated finger.

The CPSC has been investigating the possibility of new table saw regulations and voted unanimously in 2011 to look at potential new safety requirements. The 2011 survey and the 2014 analysis of the survey’s results were the latest steps toward new regulations.

Manufacturers have maintained that the additional safety measures would raise the price of table saws significantly, and in some cases may quadruple the cost of the tools. They also say that the safety features already standard on most table saws should provide adequate protection.

SawStop technology is one of the most likely features to be considered by federal regulators as a standard that should be on every table saw.

The technology senses when the saw is too close to a human finger and automatically shuts down the blade. The blade has a sensor system similar to technology used in touch lamps that detects electrical conductivity of the human body. At the slightest touch of human flesh, it instantly slams the table saw shut, which typically destroys the table saw due to the speed at which the device shuts down. At most, the victim would receive a slight nick from contact with the blades.

Boyle’s lawsuit accuses Black & Decker of strict product liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. He is seeking damages for physical pain, mental anguish, physical disfigurement, physical impairment, medical expenses and lost wages.


  • MarkJuly 26, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    7/7/2022 Battery powered delta pruner cut my thumb off. surgically reattached and in therapy. This device should have a safety lockout between each cut to prevent.

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