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Colorado family files wrongful death lawsuit against Onewheel manufacturer

Denver, CO – The family of a Colorado man killed in an electric skateboard accident has recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Onewheel manufacturer Future Motion, accusing the company of selling a defective device and failing to warn customers about the potential risks of using the device. 

The Onewheel self-balancing device, also known as an electric skateboard, comes with a “push back” feature purportedly designed to alert riders that they’re approaching the speed limit of the device. However, when the push back feature kicks in the Onewheel skateboard can shut off suddenly, which makes it nosedive and eject the rider from the board.

This is exactly what happened to the Colorado man whose identity has not been made public to protect his young sons. According to the lawsuit, last December, the man was riding together with one of his sons in Gypsum, CO, on a flat, smooth, asphalt-paved sidewalk. At one point, the Onewheel the father was riding nosedived throwing the man to the ground. The impact left the man unconscious and caused him severe head and brain trauma. Due to the severity of his injuries the man was airlifted to the Denver Health Trauma Center, where he underwent emergency surgery, but the doctors were unable to save his life. 

Onewheel targeted in wrongful death lawsuits across the country

The case in Colorado is just one of the many deaths attributed to Onewheel electric skateboards. Similar cases have been registered in several states, including California and Texas. All the cases center on the push back feature. According to Future Motion, the Onewheel “push back” feature is a safety measure. To accelerate on an electric skateboard most riders lean forward. If a rider tries to “go too fast, descend a very steep hill or ride with a low battery,” the Onewheel’s nose will automatically lift to slow the board. The effect is to “push” the rider back, reducing their speed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work this way. In most cases, riders lean forward when the push back feature kicks in, which may cause the device to nosedive and throw the rider off. Victims often suffer terrible injuries, especially head trauma. 

How to prove liability in a defective product lawsuit

The lawsuit against Future Motion is effectively a wrongful death caused by the use of a defective product. To win such a case, a Denver wrongful death lawyer will have to show that the company is guilty of negligence. 

The lawyers for the Colorado family argue that the company is guilty of:

  • Negligence – for failing to exercise ordinary care and negligently “designing, manufacturing, marketing, selling, and distributing the Onewheel device”.
  • Strict liability – the company is liable for damages because the product was “unreasonably dangerous” when it was sold to the customer.
  • Failure to warn – for failing to ensure the device’s warnings were “accurate, conspicuous and adequate.”
  • Negligent design – the manufacturer either knew of the grave risks caused by its product from investigation and testing performed by themselves or others, or they didn’t know of the dangers because they failed to perform appropriate “tests that would have disclosed those risks.”
  • Negligent recall/retrofit – as it is not the first such case, the manufacturer knew the product was dangerous, but took no steps to recall, retrofit or at least warn users about the risks. 

The manufacturer’s actions amount to a violation of the Consumer Protection Act, as the company downplayed the safety hazards and risks associated with Onewheel use. 

Experts expect more similar lawsuits to be filed against Future Motion in the near future. 

If you had such a tragedy in your family and lost a loved one in an accident caused by the use of a defective product, reach out to an experienced attorney at the Bryan&Terrill law firm in Denver. They will take care of what needs to be done in the most respectful and compassionate manner. 

Contact info:

Bryan & Terrill

333 W. Hampden Ave., #420B

Englewood, CO 80110

(720) 923-2333

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