For most people, so-called hoverboards were just a fad, one that seems to have passed after a serious of fiery incidents involving the electric scooters prompted the Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall half a million of the devices over safety concerns. But it’s more than a passing fad for others, like one Tennessee family that’s claiming a scooter sold by Amazon wass responsible for destroying their home.
In the lawsuit filed against Amazon on behalf of a couple and their four children, the family says that the mother bought “a self-balancing scooter, more commonly known as a hoverboard,” from Amazon in November 2015 as a Christmas gift for one of her sons, Courthouse News reports.
The family used the scooter for two weeks before it caught fire, the complaint says.
“The hoverboard burst into flames inside the Fox house on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016,” the lawsuit says. “The fire completely destroyed the plaintiffs’ house and virtually all of their personal belongings in a matter of minutes.”
In the complaint, the father says he was arriving home at the time, and had to encourage two of his teenage children, seperately, to break the glass on second-story windows on either side of the house and jump into his arms. After climbing a ladder and encouraging his son to break the glass in the window where he was trapped, the boy dove into his dad’s arms and the two fell together from the second floor to the ground, the complaint says.
The mother arrived home “moments later to see her house fully engulfed in flames and multiple fire engines, but her husband and children injured but alive.”
According to the lawsuit, the father “suffered the unspeakable terror of finding out that his two teenage children were trapped in a burning house and believing that he was going to lose one or both of them to the fire.”
The lawsuit says the hoverboard’s lithium battery pack was at fault for the “catastrophic fire.”
The family brought claims of product liability, negligence, and misrepresentation against Amazon. They say the value of their home and personal property lost in the fire is more than $1.9 million, and are seeking $30 million plus punitive damages.
“These hoverboards, including the one sold to [the mother], were extremely dangerous and presented a substantial product hazard,” the complaint states. “The Amazon defendants knew of these product hazards well in advance of the fire” at the family’s home.
Family Says Exploding Scooter Destroyed Home [Courthouse News]
by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist