Hoverboards are the target of recalls by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission {July, 2016}. Dozens of spontaneous fires have caused millions in property damage, and collisions or falls have resulted in serious injury requiring emergency room treatment.

Hoverboards are the popular self-balancing two-wheeled scooters introduced to the US in 2015, just in time for the Christmas gift season where sales reached into the millions. They have built-in gyroscope censoring pads that enable riders to stand and navigate like the once-popular Segways, except with no steering handles. Riders appear to be floating over the ground, hence the name, hoverboard.

Earlier this year, the Consumer Products Safety Commission {CPSC} urged hoverboard users to wear safety equipment including kneepads, helmets, and wrist guards for protection against falls and collisions. In addition to collision hazards, the CPSC cited risks of fire and explosion from hoverboards’ lithium-ion battery packs. Thus far, there have been 99 battery-related reports from hoverboard fires and explosions. These involved personal injuries from emergency room visits and more than $2 million in property damage. After receiving reports of children being treated for brain injuries and bone fractures, the CPSC said, “No hoverboard currently on the market can be deemed safe.” After publishing its warning, the CPSC recalled over 500,000 of the self-balancing, battery-powered hoverboards.

A Boca Raton mother reported that her 11-year-old daughter was riding on the hoverboard she just purchased from Amazon when her daughter suddenly felt heat coming from the board she was riding. She jumped off just as flames leaped out of the battery pack powering her hoverboard. In another incident, a Cleatwater adult suffered $110,000 in medical bills resulting from a fall off his hoverboard. Amazon, Target, and other retailers have now removed hoverboards from their shelves and online catalogs.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission has instructed manufacturers, retailers, and importers to follow stricter safety standards or risk product seizure, and warned of the possibility of civil and criminal penalties when claims are pursued through the courts.

In Florida, hoverboard injuries may qualify for product liability claims. Under Florida law, manufacturers have a duty of care in the design of their products so that they are safe for consumers to use. Manufacturers and retailers must warn consumers of any risks associated with the normal use of their products.

For certain product liability claims, Florida’s statute of limitations can be as short as two years, meaning a claim must be filed within a certain amount of time of the incident. Claims can involve pain and suffering, loss of income, medical expenses, as well as punitive damages. The amount recovered depends on the specifics in each individual case.

If you or your family members have been injured as a result of hoverboard use, The Ruth Law Team is here to discuss your legal options. Please feel free to call us today at (888) 783-8378 and speak to an attorney.

Thanks to our guest blogger and legal Journalist On Call Keith Long for his insight on hoverboard dangers and injuries.