Some of the most popular gifts for the holiday season of 2018 were electric skateboards – devices that allow skating without needing to push as much as with a standard skateboard. While these devices can be fun, they, unfortunately, display some of the same issues as the electric hoverboards that became popular in recent years: lithium-ion battery packs are exploding and catching fire, causing severe injuries to users. Some manufacturers have started recalling these devices in response.
Are the Manufacturers Liable?
Product manufacturers have a legal obligation to their customers to produce safe and effective products that perform as advertised. When a company releases a product that can harm users, the company has a duty to recall the product, issue replacements or refunds, or offer repairs at no cost to the consumer. When consumers suffer injuries from defective or dangerous consumer products they can pursue compensation for their damages with product liability claims.
If you received an electric skateboard as a gift or purchased one, and it causes an injury to you or a loved one, it is a good idea to meet with a reputable personal injury lawyer with experience in product liability lawsuits.
All skateboards inherently carry a degree of risk with use. A skater can fall and suffer injuries in a variety of circumstances. When riding any type of skateboard, one assumes some level of risk. For example, if a skater attempts a trick or a jump and suffers a broken bone or another injury, he or she would likely be unable to take legal action against the manufacturer due to the injury occurring from his or her own error. However, if a defect existed in the construction of the skateboard that caused an accident, this would constitute grounds for a product liability claim.
How Can A E-Skateboard Catch on Fire?
If an electric skateboard catches fire or explodes during normal use, this would likely qualify as grounds for a product liability lawsuit unless the user somehow manipulated the battery or failed to adhere to the instructions for use included with the device. Lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to venting after sustaining damage or with prolonged use; venting causes the battery to heat up tremendously in a very short time, potentially catching fire or exploding.
An electric skateboard catching fire or exploding from a defective lithium-ion battery can cause severe burning injuries, lacerations from debris, and other injuries from falling after the fire or explosion. Falling suddenly from an unexpected skateboard fire or explosion can cause broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, and other minor cuts, scrapes, bruises, and burns.
What to Expect in a Product Liability Claim
Unlike most other personal injury claims, a product liability claim does not necessarily revolve around the concept of negligence. A plaintiff does not need to prove a product manufacturer was negligent per se, only that the product in question was defective and the defect caused the plaintiff’s damages. The plaintiff’s attorney will need to prove that the product in question was defective by design, including a defect in the product’s construction or assembly, or that the manufacturer failed to include adequate warnings and safety notices with the product packaging.
Plaintiffs with product liability claims over defective electric skateboards need reliable legal representation to succeed with such claims. A successful product liability lawsuit can provide compensation for a plaintiff’s medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering resulting from a defective electric skateboard. If you or a loved one received an electric skateboard as a holiday gift and suffered an injury from a fire or explosion, contact a product liability lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options for legal recourse.