The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Future Motion, Inc. are recalling more than 300,000 electric skateboards due to fatal crash hazards. With dozens of reports of injuries and at least four deaths, this is a recall that parents do not want to miss.
Below, the children’s product liability lawyers at Kherkher Garcia provide information for parents on the recall, fatal crash hazards from electric skateboards, and what parents can do to hold negligent manufacturers accountable for injuries and deaths.
Onewheel Electric Skateboard Recall Information
On October 3, 2023, the CPSC and Future Motion Inc., the manufacturer of Onewheel electric skateboards, announced a voluntary recall of all Onewheel models. The recall was issued due to a crash hazard that could result in serious injury or death.
The recall affects all Onewheel electric skateboards sold online and through independent retailers from January 2014 through September 2023. This includes the following products:
- Onewheel+ XR
- Onewheel Pint
- Onewheel Pint X
- Onewheel GT models
These products were sold in retailers and online. The CPSC has received dozens of reports of incidents involving Onewheel electric skateboards, including four reported deaths between 2019 and 2021. According to the CPSC website, at least three of the four reported deaths involved head trauma.
The CPSC has also received numerous reports of injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Upper-body fractures
- Lower-body fractures
- Ligament damage
According to the CPSC, the Onewheel electric skateboards can stop balancing the rider if the boards’ limits are exceeded. This can happen if the rider is exceeding the board’s weight limit, riding too fast, or riding on a steep incline or decline.
Future Motion is developing a firmware update that will include a new safety alert feature called “haptic buzz.” This feature will provide riders with a tactile and audible alert when they are approaching the board’s limits. The firmware update is expected to be released in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, the CPSC is urging all Onewheel owners to stop using their boards immediately. Consumers who own a recalled Onewheel skateboard should contact Future Motion for a refund or replacement.
What are the Primary Hazards of Electric Skateboards?
Not all electric skateboards are defective or as dangerous as it appears that Onewheel models in the skateboard recall may be. However, there are some general hazards to riding any electric skateboard that parents should be aware of.
Skateboard crashes can pose various dangers and risks to skateboarders. These dangers can result in injuries, some of which can be severe or even life-threatening. Here are some of the potential dangers associated with skateboard crashes:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Head injuries are a significant concern in skateboarding crashes, and they can range from concussions to more severe TBIs. Wearing a helmet is crucial to reduce the risk of these injuries.
- Fractures and Dislocations: Skateboarders can sustain fractures (broken bones) in various parts of the body, such as the wrist, arm, ankle, or leg. Dislocations of joints are also possible.
- Sprains and Strains: Skateboarders can suffer from sprains (ligament injuries) and strains (muscle injuries), which can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
- Road Rash: Falling on rough pavement can result in road rash, a painful and abrasive skin injury. It can vary in severity, from minor scrapes to deep wounds requiring medical attention.
- Abrasions and Contusions: Minor injuries like cuts, bruises, and scrapes are common in skateboard crashes but can still be painful and require attention.
- Internal Injuries: In some cases, skateboard crashes can lead to internal injuries, such as damage to organs, which may not be immediately apparent but can be serious.
- Sprained or Fractured Ankles: Landing awkwardly on the skateboard can lead to ankle injuries, including sprains and fractures.
- Concussions: A blow to the head, even with a helmet, can result in a concussion. These injuries should be taken seriously, as they can have long-term effects on cognitive function.
- Lacerations: Falling on sharp objects or colliding with obstacles can lead to lacerations (cuts) that may require stitches or medical attention.
- Emotional and Psychological Impact: Skateboard crashes can be emotionally and psychologically distressing, leading to anxiety, fear, or post-traumatic stress.
How to Reduce the Risk of Electric Skateboard Injuries
To minimize the dangers of skateboard crashes, it is important for skateboarders to take safety precautions:
- Always wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.
- Skate within your skill level and practice proper skateboarding techniques.
- Be aware of your surroundings, including traffic and obstacles on the road.
- Choose skateboarding areas that are safe and suitable for your skill level.
- Learn how to fall safely, if possible, to reduce the risk of injury.
While skateboarding can be a fun and exhilarating activity, it is not without risks. Proper safety measures and responsible skateboarding can significantly reduce the likelihood and severity of injuries in the event of a crash.
What Parents Can do after a Skateboard Crash Injury
If a child is injured by a recalled skateboard, parents should take the following steps to ensure the child’s safety and protect their legal rights:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
The child’s health and wellbeing should be the top priority. If the child is injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even seemingly minor injuries should be evaluated by a medical professional to rule out any hidden or latent issues.
Keep the skateboard and any related parts or components that may have caused the injury. This evidence may be essential if legal action becomes necessary.
Report the Incident
Contact the manufacturer or distributor of the recalled skateboard to report the injury. This helps them keep track of incidents and can potentially lead to product improvements or recalls.
Document the Injury
Take photographs of the child’s injuries, as well as the skateboard and any parts that may have contributed to the accident. Document the scene of the incident if possible.
Keep Medical Records
Keep all medical records, bills, and documentation related to the child’s injury. This includes hospital records, doctor’s notes, and any prescribed treatments or medications.
Check for Recalls
Stay informed about any skateboard recalls or safety alerts related to the skateboard in question. This information can be found on the manufacturer’s website, the CPSC website, or through other relevant consumer protection agencies.
Consult with an Attorney
Consider consulting with a personal injury attorney who specializes in product liability cases. They can provide guidance on your legal rights and potential avenues for compensation. Product liability laws may hold the manufacturer or distributor responsible for injuries caused by defective products.
Legal Options for Skateboard Recall Injuries
It is important for parents to protect their child’s rights and wellbeing in the event of an injury caused by a recalled skateboard. Consultation with an attorney experienced in personal injury and product liability cases can provide valuable guidance and assistance throughout the process.
Parents may have legal options for pursuing justice and compensation for their child’s injuries, such as:
- Product Liability Claims: If the skateboard manufacturer is found to be negligent in producing a dangerous product, a product liability claim can be pursued. There are generally three types of product liability claims: design defects, manufacturing defects, and failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions
- Class Action Lawsuit: If multiple individuals have been injured by the same recalled skateboard, there may be a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer. Consulting with an attorney can help you determine if you can be a part of such legal action.
Damages Available in Product Liability Claims
In children’s product liability claims, various types of damages may be available to compensate for injuries or harm caused by a defective or dangerous product. The specific damages awarded can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. However, some common types of damages that may be available in children’s product liability claims include:
- Medical Expenses: This includes compensation for the costs of medical treatment, including hospital bills, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and any other necessary healthcare expenses related to the child’s injury.
- Pain and Suffering: Damages for physical pain, emotional suffering, and distress experienced by the child due to the injuries caused by the defective product.
- Lost Quality of Life: Compensation for any reduced quality of life or loss of enjoyment of life experienced by the child as a result of the injuries.
- Permanent Disability or Disfigurement: If the child’s injuries result in permanent disability or disfigurement, they may be entitled to damages for the long-term impact on their life.
- Lost Future Earnings: If the child’s injuries result in a reduced earning capacity in the future, they may be entitled to compensation for the income they would have earned had the injury not occurred.
- Punitive Damages: In cases where the manufacturer’s conduct is deemed particularly egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar misconduct in the future.
To pursue damages related to a skateboard recall or other product-related injury, it is advisable to consult with an experienced product liability lawyer who can evaluate your case and help you understand your legal rights and options.
Get a Free Skateboard Recall Injury Consultation
If your child has been injured by any of the products in the skateboard recall discussed above, the children’s product liability lawyers at Kherkher Garcia want to help you. Our team is committed to helping injury victims and their families understand their rights and explore the best options for pursuing justice and compensation.
Manufacturers who produce and distribute dangerous or defective products must be held accountable, especially when children are injured or killed. Kherkher Garcia helps families do just that. With our aggressive and knowledgeable legal representation, you can fight for your rights and your child’s wellbeing.
For a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call us at 713-333-1030, or fill out our online contact form.
Image from the CPSC