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Osorio v. One World Technologies, Inc.

659 F.3d 81 (2011)

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Osorio v. One World Technologies, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

659 F.3d 81 (2011)

Facts

Carlos Osorio (plaintiff) worked for a hardwood-floor installer. One day at work, Osorio was operating a Ryobi Model BTS15 benchtop table saw when his left hand slipped into the saw, causing severe injuries. Osorio filed a diversity action in federal district court against Ryobi Technologies, Inc., the manufacturer of the saw, and One World Technologies, Inc. (collectively Ryobi) (defendants), alleging that the saw’s design was defective and that Ryobi had breached the implied warranty of merchantability. At trial, Osorio presented the testimony of Dr. Stephen Gass, the inventor of a safety mechanism called SawStop that could sense when flesh came into contact with a saw’s blade and then immediately stop and retract the blade. Dr. Gass testified that he had presented his design to Ryobi, along with other table-saw manufacturers, five years before Osorio’s accident. None of the manufacturers adopted the technology. Dr. Gass testified that the cost of adding SawStop would have almost doubled the price of the saw and that the saw’s weight would have increased significantly. Ryobi contended the added weight would make the saw less portable, diminishing a major feature. Following trial, the jury found in favor of Osorio, awarding him $1.5 million in damages. Ryobi moved for judgment as a matter of law or a new trial, and the trial court denied the motion. Ryobi appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Torruella, J.)

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