with evidence to show that an electric blade brake is difficult to keep in effective operating condition, and that consumers could not be expected to perform the frequent changes in electrical brushes that blade brakes require.
The Court finds that a blade brake would not have been a practical safety device for Skil to have included in the saw because of the unacceptable level of wear that it would inflict on the components of the motor, and because of the need for frequent electrical maintenance which would make its incorporation impractical in a saw intended for use by consumers.
The Court finds that the spring-operated blade guard opened as it passed across the plaintiff's clothing, after the motor had stopped, but while the blade was still spinning. The plaintiff argues that the guard was defective.
The Court cannot agree. The blade guard was designed to open easily as it passed across whatever wood was to be cut, and it is not surprising that it would open when dropped against clothing. The guard was designed to add to the user's safety, not to insure it.
Some instruments which are part of our lives simply cannot be made entirely safe. Knives, guns, explosives, motor vehicles, household chemicals, and hundreds of other products inherently involve some risk of personal injury. Careful design can reduce that risk, but, especially with a product such as a power saw, the risk can never be entirely eliminated.
The saw in issue was safe for its intended use. It is the use itself i. e., use of a high speed steel blade to cut wood that involves some hazard. Mr. Bundie was not a victim of a defect in design. Rather, he was injured because the steel blade of the saw must rotate at seven thousand revolutions per minute to accomplish its purpose, and because there is no practical means of stopping that blade, or shielding it with a fool-proof mechanical guard.
Skil designed a saw that was safe for its intended (and other reasonably foreseeable) uses. The Court therefore will not reach the issue of whether Mr. Bundie's use of the saw was abnormal or unforeseeable. Judgment will be entered in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiff.