Onewheel Injury Lawyers to Meet With Judge Appointed To Preside Over Litigation Jan. 18
The U.S. District Judge recently appointed to preside over all federal Onewheel injury lawsuits will meet with lawyers involved in the cases on January 18, for an initial case management conference, at which time the Court will discuss the organizational structure for the litigation and the appointment of a group of attorneys that will serve in leadership positions during the coordinated pretrial proceedings.
Onewheels are electric skateboards with only one wheel, which can accelerate to speeds of about 20 miles per hour while the rider balances on the supposedly self-righting board. However, dozens of product liability lawsuits have been filed in recent months, each raising nearly identical allegations that design defects caused devastating Onewheel skateboard injuries and accidents.
Each of the complaints describe similar questions of fact and law, indicating that the Onewheel skateboard is prone to nosedive due to problems with safety feature, known as “pushback”, which is supposed to give the rider physical resistance when the skateboard is reaching its operational limit. However, some users report that the Onewheel stopped completely, pitching forward in what has been called a “nose dive” and often hurling the rider to the ground.
These problems resulted in a massive Onewheel recall in late September 2023, affecting 300,000 devices sold in the U.S., and plaintiffs each claim that they may have avoided a serious injury while riding the electric skateboard if earlier actions had been taken by the manufacturer.
Last month, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered all Onewheel injury lawsuits consolidated for coordinated pretrial proceedings under U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman in the Northern District of California, indicating that consolidation would benefit all parties.
Onewheel Initial Status Conference
Now that an Onewheel Injury lawsuit multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been formed, it is expected that Judge Labson will call for early bellwether test trials to gauge how jurors are likely to respond to expert testimony and evidence likely to be repeated in numerous claims throughout the litigation.
On December 15, Judge Labson issued a pretrial order (PDF) scheduling an initial status conference for January 18, which will provide lawyers involved in the litigation with the first opportunity to meet with the judge and discuss how the pretrial proceedings should move forward.
The order calls for the parties to be prepared to discuss a number of topics, including plans and needs for a plaintiff leadership organizational structure, which claims are suitable as representative cases for potential bellwether trials, early motions likely to be filed, a schedule for discovery proceedings and the status of all lawsuits currently pending in the litigation.
“Plaintiffs and defendants shall submit a brief written statement indicating their preliminary understanding of the facts involved in the litigation and the critical factual and legal issues,” the order states. “These statements will not be binding, will not waive claims or defenses, and may not be offered in evidence against a party in later proceedings.”
Onewheel Injury Lawsuits Continue to Be Filed
When the motion to consolidate was filed, Onewheel faced at least 31 product liability lawsuits in 14 different federal districts. However, Onewheel injury lawyers expect that dozens of additional complaints will be filed in the coming weeks and months, and it is ultimately likely that several hundred claims will be brought throughout the federal court system.
Cases have continued to be filed in federal courts nationwide since then, with one recent complaint (PDF) filed by Matthew Helfrich on January 2 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
According to the lawsuit, Helfrich purchased a Onewheel+ in December 2018 for just under $1,300. Only a few weeks later, he was riding the Onewheel at about 15 miles per hour “when suddenly, and without warning, the subject OneWheel+ nosedived (without any ‘pushback’) and abruptly stopped, consequently throwing Plaintiff off of the subject OneWheel+ and onto the paved road whereby he then rolled into a ditch.”
The lawsuit indicates Helfrich suffered a lateral tibial plateau fracture, injuries to his left knee and ankle, abrasions and other bodily injuries, requiring immediate medical attention.
If the parties are unable to reach a Onewheel skateboard settlement or other resolution to the litigation, each claim may be later remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it originated for individual trial dates.
Get more articles like this sent directly to your inbox.
"*" indicates required fields
More Top Stories
A federal magistrate judge has ordered Covidien to turn over a large collection of hernia mesh complaint files to plaintiffs as the parties prepare to select potential bellwether test cases for 2025.
Four federal judges have ruled that the second group of Camp Lejeune lawsuits to be prepared for bellwether trials will involve claims of prostate cancer, kidney disease, lung cancer, liver cancer and breast cancer.
A federal judge has scheduled the initial status conference for coordinated GLP-1 RA drug stomach paralysis lawsuit pretrial proceedings for March 14.