Onewheel “Nosedive” Lawsuit Filed Days Before Manufacturer Recalled Electric Skateboards
Days before federal safety regulators announced a Onewheel recall, due to the risk that design defects may cause the self-balancing electric skateboards to stop suddenly and dip forward, a Florida man filed a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, alleging that he suffered severe injuries in a Onewheel “nosedive” accident.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Jason Haynor in Florida Circuit Court for Pinellas County on September 22, indicating that the Onewheel skateboard manufactured and sold by Future Motion, Inc. was unreasonably dangerous and prone to nosedive or stop without warning.
“A Onewheel nosedive or shutoff is not a mild event, but rather the front of the board violently slams into the ground and the rider is thrown forward,” according to the lawsuit. “Not only is it prohibitively difficult to determine when nosedives will occur, but these unexpected events almost invariably cause the rider to be ejected and injured, often severely, as in this case.”
Onewheel “Nosedive” Accidents
The electric Onewheel skateboard can accelerate to speeds of about 20 miles per hour, while the rider balances on the supposedly self-righting board. However, the lawsuit alleges the Onewheel is prone to nosedive due to a supposed safety feature known as “pushback”, which is supposed to give the rider physical resistance when the scooter is reaching its operational limit. However, a growing number of reports indicate that instead of riders just experiencing a little resistance, sometimes the Onewheel just stops completely, causing the nose to pitch down into ground.
Haynor’s complaint came just days before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that the manufacturer had agreed to issue a recall for all models of the Onewheel skateboards, providing either a refund or software update to replace the “pushback” feature with a “haptic buzz” alert. However, the update comes too late for Haynor and a number of other individuals who have already filed Onewheel nosedive lawsuits against the manufacturer.
According to Haynor’s lawsuit, he was riding his Onewheel in North Carolina in December 2021 when he experienced a Onewheel nosedive, which threw him to the hard pavement. As a result, Haynor suffered a fracture, a torn rotator cuff, and torn shoulder ligaments.
Due to his injuries, Haynor had to undergo surgical repair and “significant” physical rehabilitation, the lawsuit indicates.
Haynor alleges in the complaint that the Onewheel is defectively designed, making it unreasonably dangerous for consumers to use, presenting claims for strict liability and negligence against Future Motion, Inc.
Future Motion Finally Issues Onewheel Recall
Years before the Future Motion decided to recall OneWheel skateboards, the CPSC issued a warning about the Onewheel nosedive risk in November 2022, indicating that at least four deaths had been linked to the self-balancing electric skateboards between 2019 and 2021.
The regulators indicated that a number of other serious injuries have also been linked to accidents on the electric skateboards, including traumatic brain injuries, concussions, paralysis, fractured bones and ligament damage.
Despite evidence of serious design defects, the CPSC indicated at that time that Future Motion was refusing to issue a voluntary Onewheel recall . Therefore, the agency issued the warning directly to consumers, indicating that they should stop using the devices immediately.
On September 29, Future Motion finally relented agreed to recall more than 300,000 different OneWheel models, including Onewheel, Onewheel+, Onewheel+XR, Onewheel Pint, Onewheel Pint X and Onewheel GT.
The Onesheel recall notice now acknowledges that the CPSC considers the “pushback” feature a crash hazard, and is warning consumers to immediately stop using the recalled Onewheel skateboards.
MDL Request for Lawsuits Over OneWheel Nosedive Accidents
Haynor’s complaint joins dozens of similar Onewheel lawsuits already filed throughout the federal court system over injuries sustained in nosedive accidents. Given common questions of fact and law raised in complaints now pending in various different courts, the manufacturer filed a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) last month, seeking to consolidate and centralize all claims before one U.S. District Judge for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings as part of a OneWheel MDL (multidistrict litigation).
According to the motion, there were at least 31 Onewheel injury lawsuits pending in 15 different federal courts nationwide, with the largest number filed in Florida federal court.
If an MDL is established, each individual claim would be transferred to one U.S. District Judge for pretrial proceedings and a series of bellwether trial designed to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation. However, if settlements for the Onewheel electric skateboard lawsuits are not reached to resolve large numbers of claims, each individual lawsuit may later be returned back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for trial.
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