Power Tools

Florida Products Liability Lawyers

Handheld power tools often provide welcome speed and assistance to a work project; whether it’s a small project around the house or part of an industrial project.  When these tools fail to operate safely, they can present the possibility of serious bodily injury or even death.

Tools Commonly Associated With Products Liability Actions

In 2009, Forbes listed the “10 Most Dangerous Power Tools” available.  Their list is representative of tools frequently involved in products liability litigation in the United States:

  • Power nailers – 37,000 emergency room cases annually
  • Chain saws- 36,000 emergency room cases annually
  • Table saws – 29,000 emergency room cases annually
  • Snowblowers – 5,700 emergency room cases annually
  • Circular saws – 10,600 emergency room cases annually
  • Riding lawnmowers – 37,000 emergency room cases annually
  • Power drills – 5,800 emergency room cases annually
  • Backhoes – 38 deaths per year
  • Air compressors – 2,400 emergency room cases annually
  • Wood chippers – 3 deaths per year

Saws constitute a uniquely frequent source of power tool mishaps.  Estimates from the CPSC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) in 2011 show that the number of emergency department-treated injuries associated with saws is, “high and not decreasing over the years.”  An average annual 94,200 saw-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms during 2001–2008.

Power Tool Product Liability Theories

Power tool product liability is comprised of three distinct types of product liability theories: design defects, manufacturing defects, or defects in marketing, which include failure to provide adequate warnings.  Many states enforce products liability under a strict liability standard.  Strict liability does not consider the negligence of the manufacturer.  Instead, if the product is legally deemed to be defective, there is liability.  All parties in the distribution chain of the product are potentially liable.  This includes point of sale merchants, distributors, wholesalers and product manufacturers.