Up to this year, e scooters have been gaining a growing popularity in America’s major metropolitan cities from being both a fast and cheap way to get around. Especially during hard financial times like these, more and more people are turning to alternative means of transportation in lieu of income streams being reduced, unstable, or lost altogether. In that sense, as more people turn to e scooters, the units themselves have been getting more worn sooner and quicker than what they used to. As companies find themselves unable to provide maintenance to their e scooters faster than they are getting damaged, this has invited a new issue: lawsuits.
More specifically, Lime and Bird, two of America’s largest scooter companies are facing mass tort lawsuits in California. The lawsuits allege that they experienced injuries due to malfunctioning scooters resulting from the companies’ inability to properly maintain them.
To provide a better idea for those who haven’t used e scooters, imagine driving your car and all of the sudden your car stops on a dime; not slow down, but stop completely. Naturally if your seatbelt weren’t fastened, you’d be thrown out of your seat and your head would probably hit the windshield. This is the kind of accident that several e scooter users are alleging they are experiencing. Also consider that on an e scooter, there is no seatbelt to be fastened to.
This comes at a bad time for Lime, who having faced financial difficulties in the wake of the pandemic, they had laid off 13 percent of their workforce while Bird had about 500 layoffs of their own. After losing ridership around March during the lockdowns, the companies are recording an increase in ridership, but they have yet to increase their workforce.
“The scooter companies, of course, refuse to take any responsibility,” attorney Catherine Lerer said. “The scooters are very poorly maintained. They just fall apart on the riders. The parts come off, the handlebars come off, the baseboard breaks, the throttle sticks, the brakes fail. These are very dangerous motorized vehicles.”
Incidents in the lawsuits date as far back as 2018 with riders experiencing the company’s first generation scooters, while some have been replaced with newer models the accidents are still occurring with complaints saying that the scooters have “failed to perform as safely as an ordinary consumer would expect when used.”
E Scooters laws already exist in a huge grey area of ambiguity varying from state to state. No doubt that the outcome of this case will in some way influence national legislation regarding e scooters.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a scooter accident, or any other type of vehicle accident, let a scooter accident lawyer in Kansas City, MO, such as from Royce Injury Attorneys, represent you for your case. Contact a law firm today.