Swagway Hoverboard Lawsuit Filed Over Fire Damage From Self-Balancing Scooter

Amid mounting concerns about the risk of problems with hoverboards, a New York man has filed a product liability lawsuit against one manufacturer, indicating that a Swagway hoverboard burst into flames in his home and caused serious property damage. 

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Michael Brown in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana on December 10, naming Swagway, LLC and Modell’s Sporting Goods, Inc. as defendants.

According to the Swagway Hoverboard lawsuit, Brown bought the self-balancing electric scooter on Modell’s website for $400 on November 24, as a Hanukkah present for his children. After the gift was opened it on December 6, the family used the hoverboard until the battery ran low, at which time they set it to recharge.

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“Approximately 45 minutes later, the Swagway Hoverboard burst into flames,” the lawsuit indicates. “The flames ignited the packaging materials, which were located nearby the Swagway Hoverboard.”

The hoverboard fire destroyed the scooter and caused damage to the house, but there were no injuries reported.

The complaint seeks class action status for all consumers who purchased a Swagway Hoverboard from Modell’s throughout the United States.

The hoverboard class action lawsuit comes as many families are debating whether to give their children the self-balancing hoverboards that were on many kid’s Christmas lists.

Safety concerns have emerged in recent weeks about the risk of hoverboards exploding or catching on fire, both while charging and during use. As a result of the hoverboard problems, the product has been banned in the U.K., and many major U.S. retailers have decided to halt on sales. In addition, the U.S. Postal Service has announced that it will not ship hoverboards by plane, and there is an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Since the agency began investigating the products earlier this month, at least two additional consumer complaints have been received indicating that hoverboards burst into flames, bring the total number of problems to 12 fires and over 30 hospitalizations from burns and trauma injuries.

Hoverboards of various makes have been linked to at least 12 fires and 30 hospitalizations nationwide due to burns and trauma injuries.

CPSC safety development experts have claimed that the lithium-ion batteries within the boards will most likely have to be modified to curb the fire risk, similar to how phones and laptops were a decade ago. The investigation seeks to uncover the cause of the fires, and most likely result in new requirements and standards for the devices. Officials also claim that most of these hoverboard hybrid style skateboards are being manufactured in China, under unregulated conditions.

Brown’s lawsuit accuses Swagway of breach of warranty, deceptive trade practices, and unjust enrichment.


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