Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Cavanaugh v. Skil Corp.

Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey
751 A.2d 564 (1999)


Facts

Ronald Cavanaugh (plaintiff) was using a circular saw manufactured by Skil Corporation (Skil) (defendant). Cavanaugh released the saw’s trigger, stopping the motor, and then put down the saw about 18 inches away from him on the floor. Although the motor had stopped, the blade was still spinning. The saw then moved across the floor on its own and severed Cavanaugh’s toe. Cavanaugh sued Skil, claiming a design defect. Circular saws had retractable guards that were designed to cover the blade when the saw was not in use. The guard on Cavanaugh’s saw did not come down in this case. Skil presented evidence that Cavanaugh had wedged the guard open. Cavanaugh testified that although he knew carpenters who did so, he had never wedged the guard open. Other evidence indicated that that the guard could have been jammed by sawdust or wood chips. Cavanaugh’s expert witness testified that there was a blade brake for saws in existence, which was in fact used by Skil’s competitors, at the time Cavanaugh’s saw was manufactured. A blade brake was designed to stop a blade from spinning immediately upon release of a saw’s trigger. Cavanaugh’s expert testified that a blade brake would have prevented Cavanaugh’s injury. Skil’s engineer testified that Skil had declined to add the feature to Cavanaugh’s saw after finding that a blade brake might cause other injuries. The jury found that the saw was defectively designed and awarded Cavanaugh $200,155.20. Skil appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (King, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 221,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.