Amazon Knew Hoverboards Were Prone to ExplodingNovember 27, 2019
According to Business Insurance, a lower court ruling was overturned this past May, which reinstated a claim against the retail giant, Amazon. The original claim alleged Amazon sold a hoverboard, which later caught fire, resulting in severe injuries to the plaintiff as well as destroying a home. The ruling in Irvin R. Love Jr. vs. Weeco et al., Amazon.com Inc, stated the plaintiff in the case provided satisfactory evidence to make the claim that Amazon was aware the hoverboards they sold, which were powered by lithium-ion batteries, could potentially result in fires.
Love vs. Amazon
Irvin Love purchased a hoverboard manufactured in China and sold through Amazon from Amazon’s website in 2015. In February 2016, Mr. Love’s home burned, causing severe injuries to him, after the hoverboard caught fire. Mr. Love claimed several defendants, including Amazon, were negligent. The lawsuit, however, focused on Amazon because the company continued to sell the hoverboards in spite of the fact they were aware of the safety risks, most particularly, the risk of fire. Further, Mr. Love alleged that Amazon failed to warn him—and others who purchased the hoverboards—of safety risks they were well aware of.
Initially, the Atlanta U.S. District Court dismissed Amazon as a defendant under the theory that the plaintiff had not shown sufficient facts, which proved Amazon knew the hoverboards were unsafe at the time Mr. Love purchased his hoverboard. The appeals court took a different view of the claim, stating Mr. Love had alleged sufficient facts to reasonably infer that Amazon had, at a minimum, constructive knowledge of the potential for hoverboards to catch on fire. Mr. Love also alleged that a number of other hoverboards (which were the same model as his) were sold by Amazon and were manufactured in China had also caught on fire.
Perhaps more importantly, Amazon had previously been sent a written notification of four fires caused by hoverboards sold by the company. Mr. Love also alleged that thousands of defective hoverboards had been seized by U.S. customs authorities due to concerns about the “potentially explosive lithium batteries.” Due to these facts, the original ruling of the lower court was vacated, and the case was remanded for further proceedings.
The attorney for Mr. Love, Darren W. Penn of Penn Law LLC in Atlanta, stated he was pleased with the decision to overturn the lower court’s ruling. Mr. Penn further noted that the Chinese defendants in the case have not yet been served, as it can be difficult to do so considering the current trade wars. Attorneys for Amazon had no comment on the issue.
Megan and Charles Fox File Claim Against Amazon for Hoverboard Fire
In yet another claim regarding a hoverboard sold by Amazon, a federal court ruled that a fire that destroyed a $1 million Tennessee home was caused by a hoverboard sold by the retail giant. The court found that Amazon was aware they were selling hoverboards prone to catch fire yet failed to alert customers who had already purchased the hoverboards. This case centered around Megan Fox, a Nashville resident, whose two children were trapped inside the family home when a hoverboard purchased from Amazon exploded, sparking a fire in January 2016.
The children were forced to jump out of a second-story window to escape the fire. Megan and Charles Fox claim their son left his hoverboard downstairs when it caught fire. While there were no serious injuries to family members, the home and all Fox’s possessions were destroyed. The family is seeking more than $30 million in damages. Although Amazon brought in extra staff to handle the surge in hoverboard calls, they did not begin issuing refunds for the defective hoverboards until after the Nashville fire. The Fox case will now go to a Nashville federal district court.
Getting the Help You Need Following a Hoverboard Fire
Those who have been involved in a fire resulting from a hoverboard sold through Amazon nearly always need some form of assistance. Your client’s ability to get treatment for injuries associated with a hoverboard fire and assistance with related expenses can, unfortunately, be limited. However, help can come from USClaims. At USClaims, pre-settlement funding can help your clients pay medical costs, as well as financial help to rebuild their home (if the fire caused the house to burn) in anticipation of a court judgment or settlement. Call 1-877-USCLAIMS today for the information you and your clients need and deserve.