NY Appellate Court Finds Table Saw Expert Opinion Insufficient to Support Design Defect Theory

A New York appeals court reversed a Suffolk County trial court’s denial of Delta International Machinery Corp.’s motion for summary judgment on a plaintiff’s design defect claim that a Delta table saw was defective because it lacked an interlocking guard. The appeals court noted that New York law explicitly rejects liability based on claims that a table saw should have been designed with an interlock, because such an interlock would make a table saw unusable for certain cuts. The plaintiff attempted to establish a fact issue through an expert opinion that an interlocking guard would not preclude the table saw from being used for “almost all types of cuts.” The Court held that the word “almost” prevented plaintiff from distinguishing prior case law. [7/10/15]