As technology develops, new products continually hit the market and increase consumer convenience. The rising popularity of electronic scooters and e-bikes has resulted in a boom in sales for such products. Unfortunately, safety regulations lag behind technological advancements, and people across the eastern seaboard are facing dangerous consequences from the lack of proper regulation. A national newspaper recently published an article discussing two deaths in New York City that have been attributed to defective or misused batteries that exploded and caused a fire in an apartment building.
According to the facts discussed in the recently published report, the scooter owner was a parks department employee who used his electric scooter to commute to work. The scooter, which he left in the doorway of his apartment to charge, apparently burst into flames and trapped the occupants. Four dogs and two people perished in the fire, and the owner of the scooter was critically injured. The article states that the housing authority has attributed the fire to the lithium-ion batteries that are used to power the scooter, and that five people have died from battery fires in NYC this year alone.
E-bikes and scooters have exploded in popularity in recent years, but consumers should be cautious when purchasing and using one. Many cheap imported models may be desirable based on the price point, but they are not always certified to be safe. If an imported scooter or bike is defective and causes some sort of harm, it may be difficult for the victim to seek recourse if it was purchased through a third party online and the manufacturer does not directly do business in the United States.
Manufacturers and distributors who do business in the U.S. are not permitted to sell unsafe consumer products and can be held accountable for delivering an unsafe product or failing to warn consumers about safety risks. Pursuing a claim against an established American company that has proper licensure and insurance can be difficult, but generally will be successful if the claim is valid. Seeking recourse against an overseas manufacturer of a product is even more difficult. It may not be possible to sue the manufacturer of the product, and distributors of dangerous products often disappear without notice when things start to go wrong with the products they sell. Because of this, it is best to spend a little extra and ensure that you are purchasing a scooter or ebike from a reputable source and that the product meets reasonable safety standards.
Has A Defective Product Hurt You?
If you or someone you care for has been hurt or killed by an electric scooter battery fire or other dangerous product, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced New Hampshire personal injury and products liability attorneys with Peter Thompson & Associates may be able to help. Even if the defective product was a cheap import, there still may be a path to recovery. Our dedicated injury lawyers know who to sue, and how to collect a far settlement when all is said and done. We represent clients throughout New England in a variety of negligence cases, including New Hampshire products liability claims. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 1-800-804-2004 or reach out to us through our website.