Knife maker sued

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I am glad to hear others outside Alaska are irritated as well. As was noted earlier, you really do need to put thought into your equipment up here and there is no way anyone should scrimp on a few bucks if they feel the equpment is not up to what they feel is appropriate. I also would not take off on a trip with a peice I had not tried multiple times.

Handling sharp instruuments is risky, especially when dealing with cold fingers, wet/slimy or bloody things that need cutting, and being tired to boot. It is an axident and with that comes the responsibility of owning up so saying "oops, I screwed up and that sucks"- then move on.

There are some amazing people in this great state and many of the mushers are very fine folks. Stories like this put a bad tast in my mouth.
Pretty embarrassing to most outdoorsmen here.Why would you leave for an event like the Iditirod without being familiar with Every bit of equipment you are using ? I've bought utility knives for work,encountered a design flaw that had the potential for cutting me open,and thrown into the dumpster.
Well, looking at a picture of the knife I can certainly see how it happened. With the gut hook facing away the sharpened edge would be up, or towards the user. The spine of the knife handle with the release would be under your curled fingers. If you gripped the handle too tightly your (middle?) finger could depress the release, unlocking the blade and allowing the sharpened edge to fold directly into the web of your hand. Ouch.

Yeah, probably should use a fixed blade, or at the very least, a frame-lock or axis-lock.
What picture?
I don't understand how using a guthook to cut line puts any sort of force on the blade that would cause it to close.

Cutting with a guthook doesn't put pressure on the blade that might cause it to close, it puts pressure on the blade in a direction that should actually hold it open.

I'm not sure that the story given makes sense.
Gotta Call It

Gotta call BS on the story.

I have a Northside Hunter. I have two, actually. While the position of the lock release is, indeed, in the middle of the handle, as long as you're using the knife as it was intended to be used, this is of no consequence. However, if you hold it with the lock release depressed and try to use it upside down, especially with force applied against the spine, you could easily have a spot of trouble with it.

As others have indicated, it's a cheap knife. Not dangerously cheap, but cheap. I bought two of them because they were on sale for $12.

The arguments above citing wrong tool for the job are spot on. Seriously, if I'm gonna select a critical tool for hard use in a harsh environment, it's not gonna be a $12 special. If I need a knife that will do pull cuts and which I can also use for regular knife duty, then how about this one?
You can do pull cuts with it, it will serve as a regular knife, and there isn't any way you can grip the knife to cause it to close on your hand. Of course there is a down side. It costs more than $20. Mine cost me $50-ish.

Really married to the gut hook idea? There's always this one . . . and it can't close on your hand: it's a fixed blade.
And, of course, the down side: it's more than $20. More like $60 depending on where you shop.

Just gotta have a rubber handled folder with a mid-handle lock release? Well, then, at least buy some quality, man.
And, sadly, it's still over $20. Again, we're up in the $50 range.

But the Northside as my "hard use" knife of choice in a harsh environment where it's a mission critical item? Nah. Not so much.

The arguments above citing the folly of selecting a cheap tool for a critical application are likewise spot on.

And the remarks about the force vectors on a gut hook being all wrong for imposing any closing force on the knife . . . also spot on.

Using knife for other than its intended purpose . . . spot on.

And yet, the guy thinks he will prevail in a lawsuit.

Of course, in a lawsuit, "cheap" has no relevance, "wrong tool" has no relevance. The force vectors thing and the "other than intended purpose" thing might actually hold water, though.

All in all, I'm in the "he's a goof ball" camp.

I can actually see how it was done, but I can't fault the knife in any of the models I run in my head.

If you're cutting twine and you're pulling up instead of back putting pressure towards the full edge instead of towards the tip AND you're holding the knife far enough back to put your thumb or finger on the lock and inadvertently depress it you can partly or fully release the lock and snap the blade closed.

You have to do at least 2 things improperly.
You have to do at least 2 things improperly.

That's it right there in a nutshell. Just like the the four rules of guns and the four rules of stupid. You can break any one rule at a time and most likely nothing bad will happen. But break two or more and something bad will definately happen.
Another bozo that refuses to take responsibility for a goof. Sad part is he will probably get something out of it.
So the next time I use a knife for something I shouldn't use it for or in a incorrect manner and I get hurt it is the Knife makers fault. PLEASE give me a BreaK and I pray the Judge chews this man and his lawyer out and tosses the case out of court.

That man is a Moron of the Highest Order Nominee for 2012.
Gee, I guess knives designed to fold in the middle, sometimes fold in the middle. If you don't want it to fold use a fixed blade.
Folding knives are OK but I never completely trust one to not fold, even my Bob Dozier folding hunter and it's built like a tank.
Most essential tool and he only spend $20 on it ?

The only knife I managed never breaking on the flightline was a Kershaw half ton. They may not be expensive, but they can take a beating, those Kershaws.
Interesting peek into the mind of people who refuse to accept responsibility for their own carelessness. I've cut myself with knives a few times, and every single time I did it...I heard a little voice asking me: "Are you really that stupid?"
If I ever cut myself from being stupid, I promise I wont sue anyone or tell you guys about it,

Oh come on Bikerdoc. You can tell us. We promise not to laugh too hard. Hell, you can always sue yourself for assault or negligence. You may even win.
That lawyer Ingaldson must be real good to get it past civil court to federal level. He must be related to the lawyer that got the warning placed on McDonalds coffee cups. Either that or the civil court in Alaska is made up of mush-heads that have never laid hands on a knife.
While I can think of a way that the user could have caused the accident, let's not forget that there may actually be a product problem that we're not aware of.

Manufacturers can create defective products that do injure people (see Gerber's recent recall).
Don't bring the Mac D lawsuit into this, totally different circumstances and I bet you didn't know that Mac D was warned numerous times before about their coffee being to hot. That and the woman that was burned was sitting in a parked car. You can look it all up, including the pictures of the burns she received from the coffee.

This is about a knife that may or may not have been used improperly.
I've cut myself up plenty. Never seriously enough to get outside treatment, but plenty that needed a little super glue or a bandage. Mostly when I was learning to use a knife, boy scouts and so on, and pretty rarely since. It still happens occasionally, I got an old sodbuster and proceeded to slice myself up more than a few times with that big honkin' carbon steel straight razor...
But y'know what?
It was my own danged fault. Every. Single. Time. And I learned a lot cutting my fingers to ribbons. I learned a lot about how to handle a knife, what locks I like, what designs I like when I make a knife, etc. I would never consider suing anyone for something that happened as a result of my own actions. Particularly if I was too stupid to figure out what I was doing. If I buy a piece of equipment and use it without thinking about what it can do to me, then I fully deserve whatever I get. Knives, guns, lathes, forges, cars, doesn't matter. Knives are sharp, guns shoot bullets, forges get hot, cars go fast and are heavy. I don't need a manufacturer to tell me these things, and I have no right to sue when I neglect to consider them.

Testing also comes into play. I figure out what it'll take to get my folders to close, especially if I'm planning out relying on them for serious use. Axis locks don't close, so I usually use something with one of those. Or a fixed blade. YMMV.
They started out in Bethel in the state court system, which is notorious tort hell. But then it was removed to federal court in Anchorage. In that venue Seavey has his work cut out for him. This is not a plaintiff's town. If there was a true defect the jury will probably give him something. Otherwise, knives are sharp.

If they can keep it in Anchorage, Seavey is likely to lose. And this state is loser pays, even in federal court. A nice Rule 68 offer, a defense verdict, and the guy could be owing 100k or more on top of his medical bills. It's not a risk-free roll of the dice.

That lawyer Ingaldson must be real good to get it past civil court to federal level

I suspect it was removed by the defense to get out of Bethel. There's no special talent needed to operate in federal court, and the court doesn't sit in judgment of the merits of a claim like this. Presumably the plaintiff counsel will have experts to argue that the knife was badly designed. If so it's likely to survive summary judgment and go to a jury. But like I said, that's not a risk-free proposition in Alaska. If he gambles wrong he'll be ruined and the knife company (or their carrier) will own his dogs.
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Kai plays hardball so these guys had better be certain there's a product defect or they'll get buried under experts and engineers that will show that there was nothing wrong with the knife and that he had to misuse it. They also won't let him off light since they'll want to send a message not to mess with them.
I have long advocated that people who are not mechanically inclined use revolvers instead of semi-autos. Now I also advocate that those not mechanically inclined not use folding knives.
I've cut myself with knives a few times, and every single time I did it...I heard a little voice asking me: "Are you really that stupid?"

Ya, it's usually my Wife's voice I hear say this.
folder safety

A number of years ago Benchmade advertised a knife with a "safe" linerlock (a collaberation between Spyderco and Benchmade), which I found to be set in so you had to make a definite and forcefull action to close the blade. I then thought to try to "accidentally" close the blade (which I could not) but found ALL my other liner locks could be closed "accidentally" if I were wearing gloves.

I found if I moved my gloved hand or fingers roughly across the liner lock (with downward finger pressure as though you were working) I could invariably make the lock fail. Since then I've taken extra care, especially in the winter using gloves.

Your tests may vary but stay safe when testing; possibly consider taping the edge of your blade.
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