Hoverboards Still for the Future? Manufacturer Liability for Defective Products

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Remember when you were younger, watching “Back to the Future” and dreaming of one day being Marty McFly and getting to soar around on your very own hoverboard? This past year, toy makers turned those dreams into reality with the release of an real hoverboard. But no sooner were those hoverboards “flying” off the store shelves did manufacturers and retailers start issuing mass recalls due to fire hazards caused by hoverboards.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently started an investigation into the safety concerns associated with hoverboards after reporting that hoverboards had spontaneously caught fire in 17 different states since being sold to consumers. If you were injured by a faulty hoverboard in Florida, you should seek the help of an experienced local lawyer to evaluate your potential ability to recover damages for your injuries.

What Duty Does a Manufacturer Have to a Consumer?

Under Florida law, a manufacturer has a duty of care to a consumer to exercise reasonable safety and caution to design products that will not harm consumers  who use the products in an ordinary manner. Using a hoverboard as an example, a manufacturer’s duty would apply if a consumer used the hoverboard as a means of transportation or some other reasonably anticipated way. If a manufacturer is aware of certain risks (such as the potential for a hoverboard to catch on fire), then the manufacturer has a duty to warn consumers of that risk and provide consumers of the proper and safe way to use the product.

May a Consumer Recover Damages if Manufacturers Breach Their Duty of Care?

Yes. Florida law provides that an injured party recover damages from a manufacturer if the company breaches their duty of care and that breach proximately caused your injuries. Specifically, you may be able to recover medical and rehabilitation expenses, loss of income, and expenses for pain and suffering.

If your loved one dies from a hoverboard accident, you may also be able to pursue punitive damages under a wrongful death lawsuit, along with additional damages such as funeral expenses, loss of support, and mental pain and suffering.

It is important to note that you could potentially also join the distributor and retailer who sold the product to the lawsuit to potentially recover from them as well. Retailers and distributors, similar to manufacturers, also have a duty to consumers that the products are safe for use.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Products Liability Claim in Florida?

Under Florida law, an injured party has four (4) years after the time of the accident to file a claim. It is important to sue within this time period to ensure your claim is not barred from being heard in the Florida court.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

If you are injured from a hoverboard or other defective product in Boca Raton, Stuart, or West Palm Beach, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, PLLC to discuss your potential options for recovering from the product manufacturer, distributor, and/or retailer. Contact us today for a consultation.

Resources:

cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2016/Self-Balancing-Scooters-Hoverboards-Recalled-by-10-Firms/

leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0095/Sections/0095.11.html

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