Every day we are getting more conscious about the climate crisis and making a greater shift to greener transportation alternatives to lower the carbon footprint. Many people in the U.S. have switched over to using buses, bikes, and now e-scooters as the main mode of transport to commute to work, school, home, or for short trips in general. Though, E-scooters are currently rising in usage for short transportation in many cities in the U.S., at the same time there is also a rise in e-scooter related injuries at emergency hospitals. On Friday, October 19th 2018, a class action lawsuit against E-Scooter companies was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on the behalf of nine people who claimed they sustained injuries on their hands, fingers, knees, and face. Some of the injuries even needed stitches or surgery.
Even though we are making efforts to address the climate crisis, are the companies who provide these alternative modes of transportation taking user safety into consideration?
The “Gross Negligence” Class Action Lawsuit
Bird, Lime, Xiaomi, and Segway were specifically named in the class action lawsuit. Along with manufacturing or design defects, the class action lawsuit claimed that e-scooters were unsafe due to lack of adequate rider instructions and warnings of the risk upon using an e-scooter. It was claimed that the class action lawsuit says the companies’ practices have contributed to injuries by “dumping” scooters on public streets without an appropriate warning. The e-scooter companies should have known that their devices would become dangerous, and a “public nuisance”.
The class action lawsuit suit gave 30 days to the companies that were mentioned in the suit to respond and asked for monetary compensation and punitive damages with the amount to be determined by the Court.
One E-Scooter Company’s Response
One of the e-scooter companies, Bird, released a statement to The Washington Post stating that “We believe that the climate crisis and our car dependency demand a transportation mode shift, and clean energy vehicles like e-scooters are already replacing millions of short car trips,” the statement also stated that “There is no evidence that riding an e-scooter presents a greater level of danger to riders than riding a bike. Cars remain the greatest threat to commuters, killing over 40,000 people in the US yearly.”
If you were involved in an E-scooter accident, after contacting healthcare professionals, remember that Nelson Personal Injury will also be ready to assist you. We know that you will have many questions about your rights and the claim process. Visit our FREE case evaluation page here, or call us today at (320)-252-1200. All consultations with our experienced Personal Injury attorneys are confidential and without obligation.
Note: This article uses information adapted from Kirsten Boyd for thedenverchannel.com and Peter Holley for washingtonpost.com. The full articles may be accessed at the links below.