Injury Claims Mount Against

Electric Scooter Firms

A Class Action Law Suit was filed on the 19th of October 2018 in Los Angeles County Superior Court by nine people who say they were injured as a result of using Electric Scooters. The Claimants say that the Defendants - Bird Rides Inc and Lime as well as their manufacturers Xiaomi Corporation and Segway Inc were grossly negligent in that the Claimants say that the Defendants knew that the scooters were dangerous and put them on the market in a way that was likely to cause injuries to persons using the scooters.

E Scooters arrived in the United States in September of 2017 and since then it is claimed that hundreds of riders and pedestrians have ended up in hospital with injuries ranging from severe gravel rash to knocked out teeth, ripped out toenails and detached biceps, according to the details contained in the Law Suit. In September of 2018 three people died whilst riding scooters in the United States - in Dallas, Cleveland and Washington DC.

Since they arrived in the United States use of scooters has increased exponentially to over one hundred cities aiming to usher in a new environmentally friendly era of micro transportation. Two of the Defendants named in the Law Suit namely Bird and Lime are start-up Companies and now have valuations exceeding $3bn dollars each, already.

However the rapid rise in the use of E Scooters has increased fears over public safety and officials in some cities including San Francisco and Santa Monica have temporarily banned Electric Scooters and have brought criminal charges against the Companies behind them for operating without a business permit. Some local residents have set up vigilante groups and have vandalised scooters as a result of disapproval of their use. Some of the causes of injury given in the Law Suit are persons tripping over scooters left discarded on the footpath, some people say they were rammed into from behind by the scooters as they were walking along the footpath. The Defendants reject any allegation that the scooters are in any way unsafe or a public danger and presumably will say that it is up to the user of the scooter to take care. The Defendants say that the lawyers behind the Class Actions should focus on other dangers such as car users. The Defendants say that over 40,000 people every year lose their life in the United States as a result of car accidents.

One of the Defendants has stated that it is continually reviewing and improving the safety of the scooters it produces and in the last year alone has improved the scooter by fitting it with bigger tyres to prevent danger from potholes, has fitted brakes on the back tyres to prevent riders hurtling over the handlebars and have also fitted dual suspension. Helmets are also provided to users of the scooters.

It remains to be seen whether the Class Action against the scooter manufacturers is successful but in the meantime the popularity of the scooters appears to be growing steadily.

If you require any further detail or advice, please contact John Reid in O’Rourke Reid
Dial: +353 1 240 1200

This document is for information purposes only and does not purport to represent legal advice.  
© O’Rourke Reid 2018