Trends often come and go. Think Tickle Me Elmo, Beanie Babies, Tamagotchis, Furbies – the list goes on and on. Usually people simply get tired of them, or an old trend is replaced by a new trend. However, in the case of hoverboards and electric skateboards, the trend has hit a bit of a stumbling block for a different reason – it turned out to be dangerous.
Did you buy a hoverboard or electric skateboard when they were all the rage? If you did, and you still have it, you should be concerned. Not only are they defective products that are continuing to be recalled, they’re also still causing accidents. Recently, the first U.S. deaths from a hoverboard occurred.
The First U.S. Deaths from a Hoverboard
In March, 2-year-old Ashanti Hughes was killed when a blazing fire ripped through a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania home. Two surviving children who were seriously injured with burns told officials that a plugged-in hoverboard exploded and caused the fire.
Ten-year-old Savannah Dominick suffered burns over 95 percent of her body and died a week later.
The Harrisburg fire chief said the children “heard some sizzling and crackling in the hoverboard, and shortly thereafter it exploded in flames.” The LayZ Board hoverboard supposedly had only been plugged in for 15-20 minutes before the crackling started.
Ashanti was trapped on the second floor of the house along with seven other people. Some of them were able to escape the burning house by jumping out of a window. Firefighters said the fire spread quickly, “first to overstuffed furniture, then to curtains and everything else in the home, fueled by high winds.”
Shaka Crawford, Ashanti’s grandmother and the homeowner, had a severe warning for anyone who still has a hoverboard: “Get rid of them, get rid of them.”
Product Recalls and Warnings
In 2016, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled over 500,000 hoverboards due to the lithium battery potentially overheating or catching fire. The hoverboards involved in the recall included the Swagway X1 model, the Hovertrax from Razor, the Airwalk Self Balancing Electric Scooter, the iMoto, the Hype Roam, the Wheeli, 2Wheelz, Back to the Future, Mobile Tech, Hover Shark, NWS, X Glider and X Rider.
Earlier this year, the CPSC added another hoverboard manufacturer to its recall list – the Vecaro LifeStyle – naming the Glide65, Drift8, and Trek10 models specifically.
According to the advisory, which affects 500 products, the lithium-ion battery packs in the hoverboards “can overheat, posing a risk of smoking, catching fire and/or exploding.”
In May, shortly after Ashanti Hughes was killed by an exploding LayZ Board hoverboard, the CPSC issued another hoverboard warning regarding LayZ Board hoverboards, and urged consumers to get rid of the hoverboards at a recycling center so the hazardous battery can be safely handled.
Along with hoverboards, about 3,200 electric skateboards have also been recalled for the very same reason – the lithium batteries can smoke, overheat, and cause a fire hazard.
Knowing about these recalls and the potential danger these products can cause, it’s imperative that you take these warnings seriously to prevent anyone from getting seriously injured. If, however, you or a loved one has already been the victim of a hoverboard or electric skateboard fire, you might be entitled to compensation for injuries with a hoverboard lawsuit. Reach out to a compassionate and experienced Florida personal injury lawyer to discuss your case so you can get justice for your pain and suffering.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.