Maryland Product Liability Lawyers: Hoverboards and Reports of FiresDecember 21, 2015
Hoverboards are one of this season’s most sought after gifts, but they may be increasingly harder to find – and for good reason. Besides their propensity for causing scraped knees and broken wrists, hoverboards are now being cited for starting major house fires. As a precaution, Overstock.com has announced that they will no longer sell the popular gadgets and Amazon will sell only a select few hoverboards on their site.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently investigating at least ten reports of fires related to hoverboards, including one that happened in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The incident occurred last month when a hoverboard that was plugged into a bedroom outlet to charge caught fire. The flaming scooter then rolled towards the bed where it ignited the bedding and mattress. A similar incident took place in Louisiana, where a house was completely destroyed in a fire started by a charging hoverboard.
While some of the reported fires started while the hoverboard was plugged in to charge, there have also been reports of hoverboards bursting into flames while people were riding them. In both cases, the problem seems to be the rechargeable lithium-ion battery used to power the devices. These batteries have been known to overheat, catch fire or explode without warning.
The recent surge of popularity in the electronic device has prompted a mass production of hoverboards in foreign countries. When proper steps are not taken to ensure the safety and reliability of the lithium-ion batteries or other device components, there is a greater potential for the batteries to malfunction and catch fire. Experts recommend that consumers beware of lower priced hoverboards and avoid buying the device online or directly from overseas. They also warn against overcharging the battery or subjecting the device to extreme temperatures and hard impacts.
However, some consumer safety experts argue that poor quality batteries are not the only problem. Rather, it is the inherent nature of hoverboards that can cause a battery to catch fire. When a hoverboard bangs into things at high speeds, the impact can cause damage to the lithium-ion battery and thereby make it susceptible to fire. This possible design defect is only made worse when combined with product defects caused by shoddy craftsmanship.
Baltimore Product Liability Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Take On Negligent Manufacturers and Retailers
If you have suffered an injury or property damage because of a defective device, contact LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton immediately. For more than 30 years, our Maryland personal injury lawyers have been fighting the makers and retailers of dangerous products. Our goal is to send a message to these businesses that negligence will not be tolerated. We work hard to recover the maximum compensation possible for our clients. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to schedule your free consultation. A qualified member of our legal team is available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week or you can contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent individuals harmed by defective products throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.