Lime may be one of the major players responsible for the explosive popularity
of sharable electric scooters, but a set of recent recalls of its brand
of e-scooters and growing concerns about the safety of its products may
prompt another type of explosion – one that doesn’t look good
for the company. According to a recent article from The Expert Institute,
those recalls may very well lead to an increase in lawsuits.
The fate of Lime, and potentially other brands of e-scooters, is hanging
in the balance following two recent recalls. These include:
- An October 2018 recall of 2,000 electric scooters issued by Lime after
reports revealed certain models of scooters had batteries which pose the
risk of sudden fires. The recall affected three U.S. cities, one of which
was Los Angeles.
- A November 2018 recall, issued less than a month after the first, prompted
by a number of scooters made by Chinese manufacturer Okai, which were
prone to breaking.
Those two recalls are contributing to the already growing concerns about
the questionable safety of Lime scooters, particularly given their rapid
proliferation since the company was founded in 2017. Now worth an estimated
$2+ billion, Lime has rentable scooters and bicycles in cities throughout
the U.S. and countries abroad.
Lime Scooter Safety Risks
There are a number of safety risks associated with Lime scooters. These
Recall-Related Risks – Los Angeles is one of the cities affected by Lime’s initial
and subsequent recalls, which involved certain models of scooters that
were prone to catching fire or breaking. Both of these issues pose risks to:
- Riders, including risks of burn injuries and sudden accidents.
- Others on the road who may walk, cycle, or drive near potentially hazardous
scooters that can suddenly fail.
- Individuals, known as “juicers” who are compensated for picking
up and charging available e-scooters in their homes.
Product-Related Risks – Electric scooters have their fair share of problems, and many
of the problems becoming apparent now have to do with the safety of the
products companies like Lime, Bird, and other scooter startups provide.
As consumer-based companies, these services have an obligation to ensure
the scooters they make available to riders are safe to use. Defective,
broken, and poorly maintained scooters can pose considerable risks of
preventable accidents and injuries, as can failures to warn consumers
about potential risks.
Accident Risks – As we discussed in a
recent blog, emergency rooms throughout LA and the country have seen a rise in the
number of patients who suffer harm in e-scooter accidents. These include
injuries involving broken bones, skull fractures, dental and facial injuries,
brain injuries (TBI), neck and back injuries, and others. Preventable scooter accidents
may be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Scooter rider negligence, including riders who injure pedestrians
- Drivers of motor vehicles who drive drunk, distracted, or commit moving
violations and other negligent acts behind the wheel
Property owners who fail to ensure the safety of their
premises, or leave hazards in areas where scooter riders may travel
- Defective and unsafe roadways, including improperly maintained roads and
the negligence of public entities or contractors
The underlying factors of an e-scooter accident will ultimately dictate
the course of action injured victims and families can take following preventable
injuries. While this may involve legal action against negligent motorists
or property owners, many of the recent issues plaguing Lime suggest that
it may also involve a significant rise in lawsuits filed directly against
the company. As with other
product liability claims, these cases would require victims to prove that a defective scooter,
or the scooter company’s failures to warn about potential defects
and risks, more likely than not caused their injuries.
Biren Law Group is a Los Angeles-based
personal injury law firm that has been fighting for victims and families throughout Southern
California for decades. Our award-winning attorneys have the experience
and resources victims need when seeking justice and full compensation
from at-fault parties responsible for their injuries – and is closely
tracking current trends and litigation involving
e-scooter accidents so as to provide the best possible representation to victims with these
new and unique types of personal injury cases.
If you wish to discuss a potential case and your rights with a member of
our team, contact usfor a FREE and confidential consultation.