2015 was the year that Back to the Future 2 imagined us driving in flying cars and riding hoverboards around town. The filmmakers were half right: while we’ve yet to see cars go airborne, hoverboards were one of the hottest toys of the 2015 holiday season. The handheld segues flew off mall shelves all over the country, but after the delirium of gift unwrapping fell away, parents and users began to notice an upsetting problem: these children’s toys were dangerous.
During the holiday season, a hoverboard spontaneously caught fire while it was being tested at a mall kiosk. In North Carolina, one burst into flame while charging in a family home. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched an investigation into 22 separate incidents involving the boards, though they haven’t made any specific recommendations regarding brands. As a proactive measure, airlines are banning them from planes.
Experts maintain that cheap lithium batteries are responsible for the fires. Choosing a larger brand name, like Sony, can help minimize your risk of experiencing a fire.
Other Safety Concerns
Fires aren’t the only problem haunting 2015’s hottest toy. Since they’re hard to navigate, hoverboards have been responsible for many ER visits in the past few months. Riders have been taking dangerous falls, sustaining serious injuries. To minimize your risk, always wear protective gear like helmets and knee pads.
Injuries sustained by clumsy riders likely aren’t enough to merit a lawsuit, but the fire hazards they present already have owners seeking compensation for their injuries.
Companies are obligated to make products that are safe as long as they’re being used properly. When they fail to do so, they’re subject to punishment under product liability law.
Product Liability Law
When we talk about “product liability,” we’re referring to a branch of the law that’s designed to help protect a consumer from unsavory business practices. Claims are most often rooted in negligence, as is the case with these hoverboards. Pursuing a case of product liability requires a few different approaches:
- Providing evidence that there’s an inherent design defect. In this case, it seems that a cheap, ineffective battery is a design flaw.
- Sometimes, a manufacturing defect is to blame when something goes awry in the production of the board.
- A marketing defect may also be responsible, like when a store neglects to provide proper safety warnings.
I’ve Been Injured by a Hoverboard. Who’s Responsible?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question isn’t always so clear-cut. The items we use each day are part of a complicated supply chain, and the hoverboard is no exception. In this case, fires appear to be the result of cheap third party batteries assembled in China. Working across country borders can be difficult, so lawyers look through all members of the supply chain to find the responsible party, including:
- The manufacturer of single components, like batteries
- The final product manufacturer
- Wholesale partners; or
- Individual retailers.
Pursuing a Hoverboard Personal Injury Claim
Product defect injury cases require the expertise of an experienced legal team. Because of the amount of research involved, choosing a law firm with a track record of success is essential. Let the team at Brian White assist you in your hoverboard injury case. We’ll conduct a thorough investigation to find the parties responsible, whether it’s a third party manufacturer or a retailer who sold you the product.
We’ll hold the companies responsible for their negligence, while securing you the compensation you deserve. Don’t let the big businesses get away with negligence. Contact one of our associates today to set up your no-risk case evaluation. There’s no fee unless we win.