A Leading Christmas Present Becomes a Leading Source of Injury
Hoverboards can be seen on sidewalks and streets all over Los Angeles these days, with many local shops offering the devices for sale. In fact, hoverboards were one of the most popular Christmas gifts during the 2015 holiday season. The pricey self-balancing motorized scooters won’t actually hover, but they will run you around $300-$900 to purchase. Unfortunately, the hefty price tag does not bring with it a guarantee of safety. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has cautioned consumers about the possible risks associated with the devices after receiving numerous reports of property damage and rider injuries caused by hoverboards.
Hoverboards work by the rider shifting their weight forward, backward, or to the side on the device’s footpads. The motorized scooters can travel at a speed around 12 to 15 miles per hour, which might not sound fast, but is sufficiently speedy to result in serious injuries should you fall off one—or worse, collide with someone riding a hoverboard. Due to the dangers of such collisions, hoverboards have been outlawed in New York City, and are not allowed on numerous college campuses. Anyone who uses social media has seen the “hoverboard fail” videos being posted—injured users include professional baseball player Dan Uggla and Florida congressman Carlos Curbelo. According to recent reports, the CPSC has received 70 complaints of hoverboard riders being injured so severely that they required a visit to the emergency room. One emergency room doctor reported that he had seen seven fractures in 36 hours, all caused by hoverboard injuries.
While the injuries to riders are troubling, hoverboards may also be capable of much larger-scale destruction. At least two families—one in Louisiana, and one in Hong Kong—have reported having their houses burned to the ground by malfunctioning hoverboards. Numerous complaints of fires originating from hoverboards caused the CPSC’s British equivalent to force a recall of all the devices, with the last straw being a woman burned when the hoverboard she was riding burst into flames. One U.S. family filed a lawsuit against the store which sold them a hoverboard that caught fire while being charged, and another man filed a federal class action lawsuit when the hoverboard he bought for his daughter caught fire while charging on the night that he brought it home. Those who have experienced injuries from either riding hoverboards or from fires started by hoverboards are encouraged to speak with an attorney as soon as possible about their legal rights for compensation for their injuries.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a hoverboard or another defective or malfunctioning product in Los Angeles, contact the knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy for a free consultation on your claims, at 310-553-6630.