Houston personal injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard are monitoring reports that “hoverboards,” a popular Christmas gift this season, have caused explosions and house fires, and whether these potentially dangerous devices could cause serious injury or death.
What Is A Hoverboard?
“Hoverboards” entered the American lexicon as a result of the hit 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II.
In the movie, iconic character Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, travels 30 years into the future –all the way to 2015!–to help his future children change their fortunes. Antics ensue. Among them, McFly has to battle the antagonist, Griff, and his band of goons.
In one famous scene, McFly is able to outwit and escape these bad guys using a floating skateboard called a hoverboard:
The Hendo “hoverboard,” a true hoverboard, was introduced in 2015. Its inventors are Jill and Greg Henderson of California-based Arx Pax. The Hendo hoverboard floats an inch off the ground, using magnetic fields, and retails for around $1,600:
This Christmas season, however, the better known version of the hoverboard is more of an electric hands-free scooter than an actual hoverboard. These devices cost anywhere from $300-$1,000 and include the brands PhunkeeDunk, IO Hawk, Ninebot, Fit Turbo, and Swagway:
Do Hoverboards and Other Dangerous Products Cause Injury? Are They Dangerous?
In the last eight months alone, the Consumer Products Safety Commission has received eight reports of injures involving some variety of “hoverboard.” To date there have been more than 20 reports of hoverboard injuries caused by falling.
Worse, Jessica Horne, a resident of Lafitte, Louisiana, claims that a hoverboard caught fire and burned down her home in November 2015. Ms. Lafitte says that the explosion “was like fireworks . . . the middle part of the board–just ‘poof.’” She says the house fire was so intense that, in only minutes, her house was in flames. The device involved was reportedly a “Fit Turbo” ordered on Amazon.com.
In December 2015, Tim Cade from Gulf Shores, Alabama posted a video of his “Smart Balance Wheel” hoverboard allegedly blowing up, throwing him off, and catching fire:
American manufacturers have claimed that the hoverboards causing fire and explosion issues are cheap Chinese knock-offs.
Still, Scott Wolfson of the Consumer Products Safety Commission has announced that the organization is now “looking at the entire product line” as a result of the incidents.
Safety experts have questioned whether hoverboards should recalled or removed from the market altogether until there are assurances that the devices have been adequately tested, appropriately designed, and satisfy manufacturing quality and other standards.
What Is The Consumer Products Safety Commission?
The United States Consumer Products Safety Commission or “CPSC” states its purpose as follows:
“CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.”
You can report a defective product to CPSC here. If you or a loved one has been physically injured by a defective product, however, you may want to speak to a lawyer before you file such a report to make sure your legal rights are preserved.
Houston Personal Injury Lawyers Handle Products Liability Cases
The Houston personal injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LLP handle cases nationwide involving serious personal injury and wrongful death arising from dangerous products.
If you suspect a defective drug or product played a role in the serious injury or death of a loved one, please call us now at 1-800-489-2216 to discuss your options. We offer free consultations to everyone, and if you do hire us, we only get paid if you win.