Will Hoverboards Be a New Wave of Product Liability Claims?

Steven Schwartzapfel Feb 8, 2016

One of the most purchased presents this year for Christmas 2015 was hoverboards. However, these highly sought after gifts have become famous for other reasons too – such as for randomly igniting. Hoverboards have been reported for randomly bursting into flames and causing numerous injuries throughout the United States. Some people have reported minor spills and scrapes, while others have reported broken bones, burns and more.

There are currently two lawsuits in progress for hoverboard accidents and injuries, according to a recent news report.

Reported Fires

The two lawsuits underway involve fires. One was when a hoverboard burst into flames while charging. The maker of the hoverboard has not yet made an official statement, but according to the plaintiff, the hoverboard was using the appropriate charger and exploded into flames. Another was in Alabama where the hoverboard caused a household fire.

What Are Hoverboards?

Hoverboards are not like they appeared in futuristic movies – they do not actually float. Instead they are motorized self-balancing scooters. Already the Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating 22 separate reports of fires caused by hoverboards since their release and they are working to identify the cause before issuing an official warning.

Because of their propensity to ignite, airlines have already started to ban them from the allowed checked cargo on their plans. So far, early reports state that no single brand is to blame for the fires; instead, it seems to be a variety of manufacturers – though most are centered in China. One thing that seems to be common is that all hoverboards that have been reported for fires used lithium ion batteries.

The fires do not all occur the same way either. Some burst into flames while being used, others have started while charging.

Hoverboard manufacturers have already made statements that users should only charge their hoverboards with the chargers they come with. While this seems reasonable, investigations have already shown that the hoverboard’s charger is very unique – meaning it is unlikely anyone is using a charger other than the one received.

What if You Are Injured on a Hoverboard?

If you are injured because of a slip and fall, it is unlikely you will have a product liability claim against the manufacturer. These devices do pose a risk for falls and injuries, and carelessness can also be used as a defense to these types of injuries.

However, injuries and property damage that result from spontaneous explosions and fires are worthy of a suit. If your hoverboard has exploded and caused a household fire or you were injured in a hoverboard explosion, you may have a case for compensation against the manufacturer.

To assess your claim better, contact the product liability attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. today. We can assist you with your product liability case and hold manufacturers responsible for their faulty products. To get started, schedule a free consultation with an attorney by callling 1-877-737-4806 or fill out an online contact form with your questions.

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