A recent incident in Boynton Beach highlights the issue of product liability for consumers in our area. On Thursday, January 28, 2016, a hoverboard burst into flames while it was being charged in a home on South Palm Drive. Witnesses to the scene reported that the device first began emitting sparks that made loud popping noises before igniting. A neighbor who heard the noises was able to disconnect the hoverboard and throw it outside before any major damage was done. After the incident, a representative of Boynton Beach Fire Rescue recommended that families charge hoverboard devices outdoors and away from buildings whenever possible to ensure the greatest degree of safety. For this family and others who have been affected by defective products, consulting with a Boynton Beach product injury lawyer can provide added help in holding corporations financially accountable for their negligent actions.
Understanding Florida Law
Florida Statute 768.81 (d) deals with comparative fault in cases of negligence and states the following:
“‘Products liability action’ means a civil action based upon a theory of strict liability, negligence, breach of warranty, nuisance, or similar theories for damages caused by the manufacture, construction, design, formulation, installation, preparation, or assembly of a product. The term includes an action alleging that injuries received by a claimant in an accident were greater than the injuries the claimant would have received but for a defective product. The substance of an action, not the conclusory terms used by a party, determines whether an action is a products liability action.”
This quoted passage from the Florida Statutes identifies the ways in which a corporation can fail to protect the public safety and can be considered legally liable for damages incurred due to defective or dangerous products.
The Dangers of Hoverboards
Also known as self-balancing scooters, hoverboards have been sold in stores and online for some time. Consumers have reported serious issues with these products, including the following:
- Low-quality batteries that could potentially explode during charging or operation
- Electrical wiring that does not meet safety standards, including defective cut-off switches and lack of fuses in the charging plugs
- Failure of the gyroscope that maintains balance for riders
These problems could potentially cause life-threatening injuries for those who ride or otherwise come into contact with hoverboards at home or at play.
Tracking the Immediate Response
Great Britain has already banned the use of hoverboards on public streets and sidewalks. In addition, the country’s National Trading Standards reported that approximately 15,000 of the 17,000 hoverboards imported between October and December 2015 were seized because of failure to adhere to required safety standards. Amazon.com has also responded to reports of defective equipment and now requires hoverboard sellers to document compliance with all applicable safety standards before listing their items for sale. Amazon is also offering full refunds to consumers who purchased known defective hoverboard units from the online retail giant.
If you or any member of your family has been injured or has experienced property damage because of a defective hoverboard or other consumer device, contacting a Boynton Beach product injury lawyer can be the best way to recover damages from negligent corporations and distributors. The experts at Boynton Law can provide professional help in pursuing your case and can help you to achieve the best settlement possible. Taking legal action may also promote greater responsibility and increased care on the part of these corporate entities when offering products for sale to the general public.