The popular electric-powered self-balancing scooters known as hoverboards
were a favorite toy for the 2015 holiday season. Contrary to their nickname,
hoverboards do not actually hover, but many find the sensation they provide
of hovering to be quite fun. Unfortunately, hoverboards can also be very
dangerous. They are difficult to use, causing many people to fall, and
there have also been reports of them catching fire.
Riding a hoverboard takes some superior balancing skills. Riders often
fall, resulting in stitches, head injuries, and broken bones. Those who
are riding hoverboards should be sure to wear a helmet, along with other
protective padding, in case of accidents. They should also make sure that
someone else is around in case there is an accident and the hoverboard
rider needs help.
In addition to the risk of falling, there have been reports of hoverboards
catching fire. A hoverboard in Gaithersburg, Maryland sparked a house
fire in December. While it was charging, the board caught fire and rolled
toward a bed, igniting the mattress and bedding.
Fire officials in Montgomery County issued a warning about the hazards of hoverboards.
In Louisiana, an entire house burned down, reportedly because of a hoverboard
fire. Consumers have also reported hoverboards catching fire while being
ridden. Several airlines have banned them in both carry-on and checked
Amazon has pulled some brands from its site.
If you have a hoverboard, never leave it charging while unattended. The
fires may be due to manufacturers using rechargeable lithium-ion batteries
that have been known to overheat and are sometimes not compatible with
the charging mechanism. Some consumer safety experts have stated that
when riders bump into walls or other objects, this damages the lithium-ion
battery and makes it more likely to catch fire. The Consumer Product Safety
Commission has begun to investigate whether the defective batteries have
caused the fires.
Products Liability Lawsuits
Those who have been injured by a hoverboard may have the basis for a products
liability personal injury suit. In order to prove products liability,
the victim need not prove the manufacturer’s negligence.
Instead, the manufacturer will be
strictly liable for the injuries, as long as the victim can prove that:
●The product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s control;
●No substantial changes were made to the product before it reached the consumer;
●A defect made the product unreasonably dangerous; and
●The defect caused the injuries.
In Maryland, there are three types of
●Manufacturing defects; and
Design defects occur when a product is designed in such a way that it is
inherently dangerous to use. A product has a manufacturing defect when
it is manufactured not in accordance with the design, and the defect makes
it unsafe. Marketing defects include when a product does not include adequate
instructions for use or the appropriate safety warnings.
Charles County, MD Personal Injury Lawyers that Fight for You
If you have been injured by a hoverboard or another defective product,
an attorney can help you recover damages. Please call us at the
Law Office of Robert R. Castro, at 301-804-2312, for a free consultation.