The first of what may be a number of class action lawsuits over Bird and Lime scooters was filed recently against the e-scooter companies, accusing them of gross negligence that has resulted in a number of injuries.
The class action lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of eight plaintiffs, who say that the scooters are being put on the streets nationwide without adequate risk warnings, instructions or safety measures. The complaint names Bird, Lime, as well as the scooter manufacturers Segway and Xiaomi, as defendants.
Three of the plaintiffs indicate they were injured when hit from behind by the scooters, resulting in severe personal injuries. The incidents represent just a few of a growing number of problems associated with the scooters, which have been linked to reports of accidents and falls.
The lawsuit also claims their deployment is unlawful, that they suffer from defective designs and are a public nuisance both due to the risks to riders and pedestrians and due to how they are sometimes left strewn about in public places. In April, the city of San Francisco impounded 66 rental e-scooters in one day, because they were left obstructing sidewalks.
Similar to bike-sharing services, scooter sharing services like Bird, Lime and Spin are increasingly popular among city residents, allowing individuals to easily rent electric scooters for quick transportation, using an app that allows you to scan in your driver’s license to confirm the rider is at least 18 years old.
The scooter services began popping up in almost every major city across the U.S. in recent months, and hundreds of thousands of rentals have been recorded over the last several months, according to recent reports. However, many are concerned the injury risk posed by electronic scooter accidents, as the devices are not as safe as bicycles due to their instability, shorter wheelbases and smaller wheels that may make riders vulnerable to imperfections in concrete or pavement.
A recent report by CNN found that hundreds of electronic scooter injury reports have already surfaced involving riders, including at least two deaths.
Although riders are warned to wear helmets and take certain precautions, some have claimed the companies are negligent in failing to properly maintain the electronic scooter. Several lawsuits have been filed against the rental companies, including claims that the devices are poorly maintained, and that service agreements releasing the companies from legal liability are not enforceable.