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Hoverboards recall could cause spike in products liability claims

Hoverboards spiked in popularity after the two-wheeled gadget hit the consumer market, but their popularity might be set to decline. Nearly half a million hoverboards have been recalled over serious concerns for consumer safety. For California consumers who have already been injured by these popular gadgets, products liability suits could be on the horizon.

The affected hoverboards -- which cover a variety of brands and models -- contain lithium-ion batteries that are inappropriate for the product. These battery packs have been linked to overheating and have even caused some of the boards to catch on fire. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has even expressed concern over the possibility of these battery packs exploding and causing serious damage to both people and property.

Approximately 100 complaints regarding the hoverboards have been made to the CPSC, almost all of which involve some type of bodily injury, property damage or both. Consumers who have purchased the recalled boards, most of which came from online retailers, have been cautioned not to use the product and to seek either a repair or a replacement part as quickly as possible. Swagway - - the company whose products account for about half of the recalled products - - announced that it intends to work closely with customers to ensure their continued safety.

While a commitment to repairing or replacing customers' defective products is admirable, it does not negate the harm suffered by victims. Overheating products and those prone to catching fire can cause serious injuries to consumers who were under the impression that they were purchasing an otherwise safe product. Victims in California can address these types of damages to both their person and their property by successfully following through on a products liability suit filed against the manufacturer of the defective product.

Source: ABC News, "CPSC Recalling More Than 500,000 Hoverboards Because of Fire Hazards", Gio Benitez and Margaret Chadbourn, July 6, 2016

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