Do I have grounds for a legal claim if I was working on my home when the trigger safety failed to function on the skill saw I own and my finger was cut off?

I have never taken the saw apart nor altered anything but a little electrical tape on the cord and it is not damaged in anyway. I was pulling the saw closer to me by the handle with a crow bar so I could reach it because I was standing outside the window I was framing. As I reached for the saw with my left hand, the crowbar slid up and hit the trigger causing the saw to kick on (which had never happened before) due to the trigger safety which must be pressed down before the trigger can be pulled upward to make the saw operate.

Asked on June 16, 2014 under Personal Injury, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Speak with experienced product liability or personal injury counsel (many of whom provide a free initial consultation) to be sure, but there is a good chance that you do not have a viable claim. You write that you were "pulling the saw closer to me by the handle with a crow bar . . . the crowbar slid up and hit the trigger...." That is certainly *not* an expected, recommended, or approved way to use the saw; when a product is mishandled or handled in a dangerous way, that often eliminates product liability claims.

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