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Family home lost in fire caused by hoverboard

On behalf of Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. Posted in Products Liability on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

Christmas is well wrapped-up after the New Year, and the kids have settled in with their new toys and games. In 2016, one of the most popular gifts was the hoverboard, or a self-balancing scooter, that is controlled by a rider’s feet and a built-in gyroscope. If you gave this gift to your child for Christmas, they’ve probably got the hang of it now.

Although your kid probably feels safe on their new ride, there are still safety concerns among manufacturers of hoverboards. In July 2016, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a broad recall of half a million hoverboards from eight manufacturers due to lithium-ion battery packs overheating and catching fire.

Feeling unsteady

The recall coincided with a house fire in Minnesota that injured a woman and killed her family’s four dogs. The hoverboard caught fire when it charged on its power station for too long. That same month, a CPSC investigation found that 60 hoverboard fires in 20 states caused more than $2 million in property damage.

This number does not include the potential injuries due to trips and falls caused by the use of hoverboards. Lack of safety warnings and equipment can increase the risk of injury while using a hoverboard. Further, the popularity of a product increases the likelihood of cheap knockoffs and reproductions, which can cause companies to skimp on safety.

The CPSC confirmed at least 50 reports of fall and crash-related injuries due to hoverboards before the 2015 holiday season. That number could find itself back in the news following this holiday season.

How to balance

As parents, we hope that holiday gift-giving doesn’t come with a safety risk, but a child’s desire for a high-dollar gift can cause us to gloss over those concerns to satisfy them. To avoid injury or property damage caused by the use of a hoverboard, the CPSC recommends that children only use it while under adult supervision. The agency also suggests that hoverboards charge for no longer than 90 minutes to prevent the battery from overheating.

If your child is injured due to their use of a hoverboard or other holiday toy, you deserve the representation of a law firm that has a history of problem-solving for families. We understand the financial and emotion concerns after an injury and can help you earn the compensation needed for recovery.