SawStop Stopped: Virginia District Judge Dismisses Antitrust Lawsuit Against Table Saw Industry
On June 27, 2014, Judge Claude M. Hilton of the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed the complaint filed against the power tool industry by SawStop, LLC. We previously wrote about this lawsuit and the need for companies and trade associations to develop sound legal policies and procedures to avoid antitrust lawsuits last month. In his very brief order regarding the SawStop case, Judge Hilton stated:
It appearing to the Court that the case should be dismissed, it is hereby ordered that the case is stricken from the docket.
The judge then stated that a Memorandum Opinion and Order would be forthcoming. It’s unclear whether the case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning SawStop would be barred from refiling the lawsuit. We will provide the Court’s Opinion and Order when they become available. The Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss is available and outlines several arguments the judge could have relied on for his ruling.
In addition to the antitrust lawsuit, SawStop technology is at the center of an ongoing rulemaking by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). SawStop filed a petition with the agency in 2003 and the CPSC issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2011 for regulations that would require table saws to meet new performance standards aimed at preventing finger amputations and injuries from contact with spinning blades. The CPSC originally planned to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) as a follow-up to the ANPR by October of this year. Late last year, however, the CPSC decided to continue with data analysis and now plans to issue an NPR by October of 2015.