But you actually discuss a matter not dispositive as to
the question of what proportion of the injured sues or
seriously considers suing.
It is not that your comments are wrong or even questionable,
they just don't address that particular question.
I didn't argue that meritless (dare I say fraudulent) suits are
not an expensive problem, only that it is rare for a plaintiff
to win one that actually DOES go to trial.
That the vast majority of cases are settled out-of-court
does not address the question of what proportion of the
injured has (seriously) contemplated suing. For every
meritless suit there may be ten or more equally injured
people who lack the chutzpah to sue.
Despite having Usenet access I still think that decent
(even if careless) people are the majority.
On 25 Oct 2006 17:35:47 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
OK please tell me how that matters. If most are trivial or without
merit and most are settled by paying off the those intitiating the
suit, how does that matter whether it goes to trial other than
I prepared a point by point response to your post, but then thought
about those papers I signed about conflict of interest, release of
sensitive or damaging information, etc. etc. Since it is a gray area
and this is Usenet and not worthy of taking a chance, I deleted it
all. However, my opinion, formed as an individual who ran an
operation that made a high volume of table saws, remains the same. And
your opinion is based on.......
How much it matters turns on the antecedent for 'they'.
if 'they' are people who make the news by winning
trivial cases then I was right and you presented a
reason why I was right. If the antecedent for 'they'
was all of the people who filed, then I was wrong
for the reasons you presented.
I apologize for the ambiguity.
Now, you are also concened with the trangential issue
of importance to the defendant, right? This is tangential
to the discusison, because it is achange in direction of
the discusion, not because it is unimportant.
Here is one way 'it' matters to the defendant:
It affects the dollar amount at which the decision is made
to defend rather than to settle. The more likely it is that
the defendant will lose, the more that defendant will be
willing to pay to settle out-of-court.
That is why limit on punitive damages encourage insurance
companies to lowball legitimate claims. The statutory
limit on punitives limits their exposure if they act in
bad faith. And companies who act in good faith can
thereby find themselves financially uncompetative with
those that do not.
OTOH, companies that justifiably fight fraudulent claims
to the bitter end rack up legal fees that also make them
Beter enforcement of the prohibitions on perpetrating
a fraud on the court would help but that's a difficult
The question you pose above is about a different aspect of the
subject than were the statements you challenged. I don't
dispute the veracity of your points, I just observe that they
are not contradictory with mine.
You questioned two statements.
One, was that the frequency of table saw accidents was
probably much higher than the frequency of lawsuits stemming
from such accidents. The other was that one seldom hears
about plaintiffs with seemingly trivial complaints winning large
judgements because such cases are rare. I already addressed
the second above.
Now back to the first:
You ignore the possibility that most _accidents_ never got
your attention in the first place. THAT was the point I
was making and as you will recall, expressed thus:
"For every meritless suit there may be ten or more
equally injured people who lack the chutzpah to sue."
That is based on four tablesaw injuries with which I am
personally familiar and several that have been related
here--none of those involved a lawsuit.
Correct me if am wrong but you were not in a position to know
how many people were injured, only how many sued, right?
On 26 Oct 2006 12:56:19 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Well that certainly qualifies you as an expert on the two points I
The first is that in this thread and others, I strongly suspect, that
certain individuals are posting information about their personal
knowledge or involvement with table saw hand injuries that, when
projected to a total population of table saw hand injuries is
significantly more than the reality. The posts, I believe, are in
many cases, simply trolls. They are generally posted with no
authentication. I believe I'm right on this, and I sincerely hope I'm
Secondly, I indicated that you were in error in your statement about
the population of suits and who might have the propensity to do so.
I will offer no more information about what I know to support the
statement for reasons previously mentioned.
You certainly may hold and post any opinion you wish. And those that
haven't become completely bored with this thread and continue to
follow it may draw their own conclusions.
Do you really need to question the number of injuries. If you really want
some idea just have a look through this ng and other woodworking forums to
see the number of posts about near misses and not so near misses. I see a
posting about an injury/near miss at least twice a week. Now take into
account the the vast majority of woodworkers who do not have internet access
or subscribe to this ng and the number of injuries grows quite considerably.
Twice a week? You must look at a lot of other forums besides this one. I
sure don't see that kind of frequency here. What are you calling injuries
and near misses though? Many of the things that have been posted here about
problems people have gotten into would not have been eliminated by a blade
I don't use a blade gaurd becuase they tend to get in the way and don't
allow for free hand cuts because you can't see where your cutting. I given a
lot of thaught to investing in a good gaurd though that was designed
properly instead of a cheap piece of plastic that is shipped with the saw
and the manufacterer knows your going to toss. I've learned the hard way
twice. Once while ripping some oak the wood kicked back and sent my middle
finger tip through the saw a few years later while working I had my sweet
shirt get caught, I wasn't hurt but the only way to explain it is.
"I was leaning over the saw when someone "karate chopped" the back of my
neck" the shirt got yanked hard and fast against my neck. The only reason I
caught it was because it had happened to my uncle years earlier and this is
how he discribed it. He was looking around the shop for some jocker, and
didn't catch it until he stopped for a coffee.
The main thing they "get in the way" of is sticking your fingers in the blade.
I don't know about you, but I *like* anything that gets in the way of that.
Nobody with any good sense does freehand cuts on a table saw anyway.
That's Table Saw Safety Rule Number One. It's *very* dangerous, just *begging*
for a kickback or worse. Save the freehand stuff for the bandsaw or scrollsaw.
You should first give a lot of thought to learning how to use your saw safely.
And the cause of this was -- ? Were you doing a freehand cut, by any chance?
Was there a splitter installed on the saw? I'll bet not -- since the factory
blade guard on most saws is integral with the splitter, when you removed the
guard, you *also* removed the single most important component in preventing
kickbacks: the splitter.
I guess nobody ever taught either you or your uncle not to wear loose-fitting
clothing while operating power tools. Or not to lean or reach over power tools
while they're in operation.
Has it occurred to you yet that your shirt would not have come in contact with
the blade if you hadn't removed the blade guard?
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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