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Randy Appleton
| Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn

Consumers that have a hoverboard in their home or garage should also have a fire extinguisher handy, warns the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

These mini Segways are proving to be 2015’s most popular, albeit dangerous, Christmas gift, after reports of multiple fires and injuries have been reported. To date the CPSC has received dozens of reports of the boards catching fire. Moreover, the agency is expanding its investigation into falls caused by hoverboards due to an “increasing number” of serious injuries and emergency room visits.

According to the agency, some of the reported injuries have been serious and include abrasions/contusions, fractures, concussions, and internal organ injuries. Early reports indicate the fires are an issue with all brands of these devices. Some occur while charging while others occurred during use. But cheap lithium ion batteries seem to be the common cause.

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury on a so-called hoverboard, do you have a product liability case?

A product liability case is based on the premise that manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are safe and they can therefore be held strictly liable if a person suffers an injury by their product. In the case of hoverboards, a claim would likely fall into one of the following main categories:

Design Defect – this refers to a flaw in the board design, rendering it unreasonably dangerous;

Manufacturing Defect – refers to a claims that the board was manufactured in a way that dangerously departed from the intended design; or

Warning Defect – refers to claims that the product lacked adequate instructions or warnings, without which the product is not reasonably safe.

In other words, hoverboards may be poorly designed, improperly manufactured, or lacking satisfactory warnings, which have led to injuries and/or property damage. In which case the board manufacturer could be held liable. It’s a complicated and lengthy process to prove fault in a product liability case. If you or a loved one was injured by a hoverboard, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney about your case.

Hoverboard Product Liability Suits

At this time there are at least two hoverboard lawsuits in the works. A couple in Alabama is suing a hoverboard retailer after the device caused a fire in their home. While in New York a suit was filed after the board allegedly caught fire while charging. More lawsuits are anticipated in the coming days and weeks.

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