A class action lawsuit recently filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court accuses the nation’s largest e-scooter companies, Lime and Bird, of “gross negligence” and “aiding and abetting assault” for “dumping” scooters on public streets without proper warning, creating a dangerous “public nuisance.”
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured in a scooter accident, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
Update: Serious Accidents Lead to Call for City-Wide Ban on E-Scooters in San Diego
A member of the San Diego City Council is calling for a temporary ban on electric scooters after reports surfaced of at least 3 major accidents involving the scooters, according to FOX5 San Diego. 50-Year-old Karen Riggott suffered catastrophic head injuries and a fractured skull on Saturday when she lost control of her e-scooter and hit her head at Liberty Station.
"My wife took one hand off the scooter came to a screeching halt - the handlebars moved to the left she fell and smashed her skull,” said Karen's husband, Dean. She remains under heavy sedation at UCSD Medical Center with 8 skull fractures, a brain bleed and swelling.
Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Lime, Bird
The class action was filed against Lime and Bird on behalf of a group of plaintiffs who allegedly suffered personal injury and/or property damage as a result of the companies’ negligence. The complaint includes not just scooter riders but also pedestrians who claim to have sustained extensive injuries including broken wrists, toes and fingers, torn ligaments, face lacerations, and “damaged” teeth.
In addition to Bird and Lime being accused of “aiding and abetting assault,” the suit also notes that leaving the scooters on public sidewalks and streets is a “public nuisance” which violates the California Civil Code, and that the plaintiffs are representative of “scores (if not hundreds) of riders and pedestrians and members of the public [who] have suffered, are continuing to suffer and will to continue to suffer egregious and avoidable injuries and damage to their person and property.”
Types of Scooter Injuries
- Broken wrists, toes and fingers
- Torn ligaments
- Face lacerations
- Skin abrasions (“road rash”)
- Damaged teeth
- Property damage
Lime Scooter Recall
Lime has recently issued at least 2 recalls for its scooters over problems that could lead to severe personal injuries and/or significant property damage.
In Oct. 2018, Lime recalled thousands of scooters over concerns that a “manufacturing defect” in some of its scooters “could result in the battery smoldering, or in some cases catching fire.” The company eventually pulled about 2,000 scooters over the issue, but said that the risk of such an occurrence was only possible in a tiny percentage of cases, according to the Washington Post.
“All vulnerable scooters were quickly removed from circulation, minimally impacting service to our Los Angeles, San Diego and Lake Tahoe markets,” Lime said in a statement. “At no time were riders or members of the public put at risk.”
A month after that recall, Lime recalled scooters manufactured by Okai after multiple reports surfaced of the devices breaking in half under normal riding conditions. Lime said it would decommission all of its Okai Scooters as a result of the problem; however, it added that determining the precise number of scooters affected would be difficult, and declined to provide an estimate as to the exact number affected.
"Safety is Lime’s highest priority,” the company said in a statement. “The vast majority of Lime’s fleet is manufactured by other companies and decommissioned Okai scooters are being replaced with newer, more advanced scooters considered best in class for safety. We don’t anticipate any real service disruptions.”
What Should I Do After a Scooter Accident?
If you or a loved one was injured in a scooter accident, it is critical that you take the following steps to ensure your eligibility to file a claim seeking compensation for your injuries:
- Take photos of the accident scene, the scooter(s)/vehicles involved, and any injuries sustained.
- Get a copy of the police report (if available).
- Seek medical treatment immediately, if needed.
- Use your personal injury protection to pay initial bills, and then use your health insurance. Get copies of all records and bills.
- Do not give a recorded statement to the other person's insurance.
- Make sure you understand there are strict time limits in which to file a claim - statutes of limitations vary by state and type of accident.
Update: Chicago E-Scooter Injury Statistics
(since 6/15/19 pilot launch)
- Saints Mary and Elizabeth Hospitals (Wicker Park): 19 ER visits
- Rush Hospital (Illinois Medical District): 2 patients requiring surgery
- Mount Sinai Hospital (North Lawndale): 3 ER visits
- Cook County Hospital (Illinois Medical District) 4 ER visits, one patient requiring surgery
- University of Illinois Hospital (Illinois Medical District): No ER Visits
- Northwestern Hospital (Streeterville): 6 ER visits as of July 3. According to a spokesperson, NWU will not be releasing further scooter injury data, stating, “We’ve been getting a lot of calls and this is not a priority for us.”
Norfolk, Virginia Beach Note Uptick in E-Scooter Accidents, But Nobody's Keeping Track
Like many trendy cities across the U.S., Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Virginia, are currently in the midst of an e-scooter craze, and local officials have lamented seeing them laying on sidewalks everywhere. Police have noticed an increase in the number of injuries and accidents linked to the scooters, but there's no way to tell how great an increase it is because nobody is keeping statistics, according to the South Side Daily.
“Unfortunately, our data system does not record the cause of all injury types, and ‘electric scooter’ is not a category in our hospital’s data system, so we cannot give you hard data on how many of these injuries we have seen,” said Kelly McCarthy, spokeswoman for Sentara Healthcare.
Dr. Richard Myers, Sentara Orthopedic Trauma surgeon, said he’s recently been treating more patients with scooter injuries, but no hard data is available.
“The majority of injuries Dr. Myers has been treating in the orthopedic trauma department has been fractures to the wrist, ankle, and knee injuries. Many of these injuries have also been neurological, meaning brain-related injuries due to not wearing a helmet,” McCarthy said.
Both Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital’s trauma departments are in the process of looking into ways to accurately track scooter injuries, she said.
Razor Scooter Accident in San Diego, SDPD Says
A 17-year-old boy was riding a Razor Scooter northbound across 2600 Genesee Ave in San Diego last week when he jumped over the raised center wall and struck a 2007 Ford Focus that was traveling westbound, according to the Clairemont Times. The boy was rushed to the hospital with facial lacerations and a brain bleed. The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, police said.
CDC Study Identifies Crash Risk with E-Scooters
A recent study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health and Transportation in Austin, Texas, found the crash risk associated with the trendy electric scooters found in many large U.S. cities to be approximately 20-in-100,000.
The study found at least 271 people who reported suffering scooter-related injuries between Sept. 5, 2018, and Nov. 30, 2018. CDC Researchers presented the data at the agency’s Epidemic Intelligence Service conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
During the study period noted above, there were a total of 182,333 hours of e-scooter use, 891,121 miles ridden on e-scooters, and 936,110 e-scooter trips. The researchers found that there were approximately 20 individuals hurt per 100,000 scooter trips taken during the 3-month period.
Of the injured, nearly half suffered head injuries. At least 15% of these were subsequently diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), the study found. The authors said many of these injuries could have been prevented by wearing a helmet, but only one of 190 injured scooter riders was wearing one.
“These injuries may have been preventable,” the researchers concluded. “Studies have shown that bicycle riders reduce the risk of head and brain injuries by wearing a helmet. Helmet use might also reduce the risk of head and brain injuries in the event of an e-scooter crash.”
Can I File a Class Action?
Although Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is a nationally recognized class action firm, we have decided against this type of litigation when it comes to scooter injuries. Our lawyers feel that if there is a successful resolution to these cases, individual suits, not class actions will be the best way to get maximum payouts to our clients. If you’ve been injured in a scooter accident, we know you’ve suffered emotionally and economically, and want to work with you personally to obtain the maximum compensation for the damages caused by your injuries. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.
Do I Have a Scooter Injury Lawsuit?
The Personal Injury and Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in scooter accident lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you were harmed in a scooter accident, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.