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CATASTROPHIC INJURY AND WRONGFUL DEATH

Class-action Lawsuit Filed for “Gross Negligence” in E-Scooter Companies

Personal Injury Lawyer

In 2017, scooter-sharing services began popping up in cities around the United States. The two most popular brands, Lime and Bird, released dockless electric scooters that consumers could rent from an application on their smartphone. By 2018, the Bird company was estimated to have a value of nearly $2 billion while the Lime company reported a total of around 11.5 million rides. Seeing this success, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft jumped on board and released their own line of rentable scooters that same year.

However, these national companies began to receive backlash for their lack of safety. In October of 2018, a class-action lawsuit was filed. The lawsuit claimed that electric scooter companies, including Lime and Bird, were responsible for “gross negligence” and “aiding and abetting assault.” It alleges that these companies’ practices can cause serious personal injuries for many reasons. The devices didn’t have a designated drop-off or docking location causing them to be “dumped” in public areas and on streets without adequate warning. The personal injury lawsuit states the e-scooter companies have acted negligently because they should have anticipated their scooters could become a perilous “public nuisance.” 

The lawsuit was originally filed on behalf of eight plaintiffs by a reputable personal injury law firm. Three of those plaintiffs declared that e-scooter riders had run into them from behind as they were walking causing them serious personal injuries. From this information, the suit claimed that the companies in question knew pedestrians were being seriously injured but failed to remedy the situation; the plaintiffs believed they facilitated riders in perpetrating these “assaults.” The lawsuit continues by saying, “hundreds of riders, pedestrians and members of the public have suffered, are continuing to suffer and will continue to suffer egregious and avoidable injuries and damage to their person and property.”

Additionally, it is alleged that both Bird and Lime’s e-scooters have damaged parts and were lacking safety instructions creating a “wanton disregard for the safety of others.” The suit states that the companies’ were liable because “[the risks] were known and/or knowable based on professional knowledge within the transportation community.” However, there was never much evidence to support the mechanical and electronic issues in the devices. 

A representative from Lime, responded to these accusations by saying, “While we don’t comment on pending litigation, safety has always been at the very core of everything we do at Lime –– as is our mission of reducing cars from city streets and making them safer and greener for pedestrians, bike and scooter riders alike.” A spokesperson from Bird reciprocated with their own statement in an attempt to shift the focus of their devices saying, “Cars remain the greatest threat to commuters, killing over 40,000 people in the US yearly.” Bird, Lime, and other e-scooter companies continue to operate in certain cities around the world. Lime allocated 250,000 helmets globally and improved their device with additional safety features. Some of the other companies followed in suit, creating docks for the scooters. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a scooter accident, it could be beneficial to speak with a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Cleveland, OH from Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., LPA, about your legal options for compensation.