Since entering the market in 2015, hoverboards have been flying off the shelves of retail stores and distribution centers across the globe.
But while the self-balancing two-wheeled scooters have delighted a countless number of kids at Christmas or on their birthdays, thousands of them have been injured while riding them.
One such injury was so bad it prompted the law firm of Humphrey, Farrington & McClain (HFM) to sue the manufacturers and suppliers of the Swagway Model T1 hoverboard.
The lawsuit revolves around a young girl who received a Swagway Model T1 hoverboard for Christmas in 2016. A few weeks later, she was riding the hoverboard barefoot inside on a carpeted basement floor when the hoverboard sped up and crashed into a wall. The girl’s right big toe was nearly amputated when her toe was caught between the hoverboard’s wheel and rigid plastic wheel well.
The Swagtron Model T1 was marketed as “the safest and most reliable hoverboard on the market”. But the lawsuit that HFM filed on behalf of the plaintiff and his injured daughter states that the user manual for the hoverboard does not warn against riding it indoors or have adequate warnings that would alert the rider to the risk of injury to their feet and toes.
“The target market for devices like these is young children,” said Colin W. McClain, associate attorney for Humphrey, Farrington & McClain, “and these manufacturers and suppliers of Swagway hoverboards show young children riding these boards indoors, without shoes or any other protective clothing.”
McClain believes that manufacturers and suppliers should design these boards to prevent these injuries, stop advertising them with kids riding them without shoes, and put warning labels on the board so that kids see them every time they step on the device.
A study of hoverboard and skateboard injuries that appeared in the April 2018 issue of Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found an estimated 26,854 injuries from hoverboards that were treated at hospital emergency rooms between 2015 and 2016.
Though well below the number of skateboard injuries reported in that same time frame, the researchers found that, while most skateboard injuries occurred on the streets, most hoverboard injuries happened at home.
If you or someone you know has a loved one who has been seriously injured from riding a hoverboard, please call Humphrey, Farrington & McClain at 816-836-5050.
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