Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC has filed a product liability lawsuit over the wrongful death of a father who suffered fatal brain injuries while riding a Onewheel device that abruptly shut off and nosedived.
Onewheel is a self-balancing electric transport device – sometimes referred to as an electric skateboard or hover board – manufactured and marketed by Silicon Valley-based Future Motion Inc. (FM).
Though it uses a deck similar to that of a skateboard, it is powered by a single heavy tire and gyroscopes / accelerometers designed to keep riders level and allow them to steer by shifting body positioning. It can reach speeds of 20 mph or more.
Though the OneWheel and OneWheel+ XR have become popular, there have been growing concerns over injuries suffered by riders, as well as possible defects like the Onewheel nosedive – a scenario in which the motor may unexpectedly shut down, causing the board to slam forward, strike the ground, and send riders into what can be serious crashes.
That’s what happened to the victim in this case.
Filed in California Superior Court for the County of Santa Cruz, the wrongful death lawsuit claims that one of the Onewheel’s key features – arguably its most dangerous – is that it provides a “pushback” when approaching the device’s limits of use, as well as when “regenerating” power on downhill grades to charge its battery.
However, the lawsuit notes, it is often the case that rather than solely providing a pushback, which is allegedly designed to warn riders to avoid dangerous situations, the Onewheel may abruptly lose its ability to help maintain balance, nosedive, and throw riders off the device. Different factors – such as a rider’s weight, tire pressure, battery level, speed, and grade of incline or decline – may also cause the Onewheel nosedive.
In our case, the victim had been riding his Onewheel on flat pavement in a Houston neighborhood park when, upon information and belief, the device experienced a nosedive, causing him to be thrown forward from the board. He experienced severe brain trauma in the crash, and later died during surgery.
Read more about the lawsuit here.
Our clients allege that the fatal crash occurred because:
Our trial attorneys at BCH intend to fight for the justice our clients deserve, and for compensation of the damages they suffered as a result of this tragedy. We are hopeful this case will highlight the dangers allegedly associated with the Onewheel, and compel FM into taking responsibility for its products and any harms they may have caused others.
Our legal team is aware many other consumers have experienced crashes, injuries, and potential defects with their Onewheel devices – including sudden shut offs and the notorious Onewheel nosedive. We are available to review potential claims from victims and families nationwide. Contact us to speak with a lawyer.