The Federal Government Finally Cracks Down on Onewheel Skateboards
On November 16th, the CPSC officially warned consumers to stop using Onewheel skateboards due to the obvious risk of death and serious injury. It is something that most of us have been expecting for quite some time. In fact, some might argue that this warning should have come earlier, as the number of deaths and serious injuries associated with these skateboards is simply astounding. If you have been injured by a Onewheel, you are probably very aware of the dangers associated with these devices. But what does this actually mean for injured victims? Will it become easier to sue Onewheel and hold them accountable for releasing such an inherently dangerous product? What can you do if you have been injured by one of these devices?
CPSC Makes Damning Statements About the Onewheel
On November 16th, the Consumer Product Safety Commission made an official statement that warned consumers to avoid the Onewheel at all costs. The organization urged people to immediately stop using all Onewheel models, including the Onewheel, Onewheel+, Onewheel+ XR, Onewheel Pint, Onewheel Pint X, and Onewheel GT. The organization also encourages consumers to avoid buying the product in the first place. In addition, consumers are warned not to resell their Onewhells or even donate them to others.
The CPSC has concluded that these products present a high risk of ejection-related injuries that can cause severe injury or death for riders. Four deaths associated with these incidents have been reported over a two-year period from 2019 to 2021. Countless additional injuries have been reported, including traumatic brain injury, concussion, paralysis, upper-body fractures, lower-body fractures, ligament damage, and much more. All four deaths resulted from severe head trauma.
The CPSC notes that the most severe Onewheel injuries are associated with either a sudden stop that throws the rider off the skateboard or the device’s failure to maintain balance. Both issues are related to the device itself and not human error.
The CPSC claims that Onewheel is fighting back and refusing to accept a reasonable recall of its skateboards, although it did agree to a minor recall of about 20,500 footpads for the Onewheel GT. Note that this recall does not involve the actual machinery or main design of the Onewheel but rather a relatively minor individual component. This company is continuing to face lawsuits over deaths and injuries allegedly caused by its products, so this comes as no surprise. An acceptance of a recall may be construed as an admission of guilt, making it easier for victims to prove negligence and sue the company for damages.
In their own statement, Future Motion (the company that makes Onewheel) argued:
“Onewheel electric skateboards are safe when operated following common-sense safe riding practices that are common to any board sport. We strongly disagree with the CPSC’s unjustified and alarmist claims, and we see no reason for riders to stop using their boards. We go to great lengths to encourage riders to educate themselves on safety, and the overwhelming majority of riders use the board safely, ride within their abilities, respect the board’s safety systems, follow local laws, and wear a helmet and other safety gear.”
But is this really true? Are the injuries only related to individuals who fail to follow “common-sense safe riding practices that are common to any board sport?” Or is there something inherently dangerous about these products that consumers experience regardless of their training, safety equipment, or natural abilities?
The main source of concern seems to be the alleged tendency of these products to “stop suddenly.” This is something that Future Motion denies, stating that all of their products are tested for “many miles without any performance issues.” However, the company did admit that it had received 800 reports of Onewheels continuing to run after users had stepped off the device. Some of these incidents have resulted in bruises, friction burns, and twisted ankles.
In a press release, Onewheel pointed to its many satisfied customers who have written letters to the CPSC. One Onewheel user stated that their device represented a “culture, movement, and family” that was “more than a board sport.” The user also claimed that the Onewheel “literally saved my life” while he was going through a “really dark time.” Another user claimed that Onewheel was “no different than any other motorized sport” and that the CPSC should “let us ride!” Another touted the mental health benefits he had experienced since riding his Onewheel.
Future Motion’s Continuing Legal Issues
Future Motion continues to face several legal issues. On September 16th, it was reported that the company was facing a class-action lawsuit due to its sudden stopping and “nose dive effect.” In May of 2022, a family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Future Motion, alleging that their son died due to a “pushback” feature. This feature is supposed to stop the Onewheel from going too fast – especially when descending steep hills or running out of battery. However, many plaintiffs – including this family – argue that the pushback feature can cause nose-diving if the user leans forward when it activates. In July of 2022, an 18-year-old fell from his Onewheel in Orange County, striking his head to the point where he was ostensibly knocked unconscious. Then, while lying in the middle of the road, he was struck by a Dodge Charger and killed.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney in California?
If you’ve been searching the California area for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured plaintiffs throughout the Golden State. We know that product manufacturers often release devices that are extremely dangerous and should probably never be used by anyone. According to the CPSC, the Onewheel is a clear example of one of these products. Injured victims deserve to pursue accountability, justice, and fair compensation – whether they have been injured by a Onewheel, a pressure cooker, an exploding battery, or any other dangerous product. With our help, you can file a product liability lawsuit against negligent parties. Book your consultation today to get started.