A class-action lawsuit has been filed against electric scooter manufacturers Bird and Lime in Los Angeles Superior Court. According to a KTLA news report, this is the first such lawsuit filed on behalf of individuals claiming to have been harmed by the scooters. The complaint also names Segway and Xiaomi as defendants and lists nine plaintiffs including three people who claim they were injured by scooter riders who crashed into them from behind and three others who said they tripped over scooters that had been left abandoned on the sidewalk.
Serious Injuries and Damages
There were reports of serious injuries as well as property damage. One of the plaintiffs said eight of his front teeth were damaged. Another said he had to undergo surgery to fix a torn bicep tendon. A San Diego County resident said a scooter rider crashed into his car and damaged it. Yet another resident in Los Angeles County said he suffered injuries to his ribcage, knees and hip after falling off a scooter when the accelerator locked up. Some also complained they came across scooters blocking parking spots for disabled individuals.
The lawsuit alleged that the companies’ products have caused “civil unrest” with individuals throwing scooters into trashcans, the ocean and even the canals in Venice. Some reportedly light the scooters on fire and bury them in the beach sand. The companies have not only aided and abetted assault but have also acted negligently with conscious disregard for public safety, the complaint said. The lawsuit seeks compensation for medical bills and other damages sustained by the plaintiffs. It also said the scooters should be required to have license plates and that riders should have liability insurance.
Scooters Become Public Nuisance
Rental scooters surged in popularity especially in Southern California’s beach towns last year. These vehicles travel up to speeds of 15 mph. Several cities have been cracking down on scooter operators after reports of injuries and vandalism involving these scooters. Interestingly enough, a Bird spokesperson told class action attorneys who are interested in transportation safety should focus on reducing car accident deaths. They maintain that e-scooters are saving the planet by preventing vehicle pollution.
While that is some serious spin, a quick reality check will show that these e-scooters are bad news. They are not only unsafe for the riders who use them, but also for pedestrians who have reported getting hit by careless riders and suffering serious injuries. Not to mention vandals misusing these vehicles to damage public and private property. It is about time companies like Bird and Lime step up to the plate, and do what’s right, or be prepared to face the consequences of their negligence.