On Tuesday, riders filed a complaint in the California State Superior Court in San Francisco County against Neutron Holdings, Inc. d/b/a Lime; Segway Inc., who manufactured the Lime scooters; and Does 1-50, over injuries allegedly sustained from riding Lime scooters, some of which required surgery.
The plaintiffs claimed that the Lime scooters are “defective or not properly maintained causing severe injuries to riders, such as the [p]laintiffs.” Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the defects include failure to maintain or issues with the brakes, throttle, wheels, and handlebars, and injuries caused by geofencing.
For example, while plaintiff Danny Aguilar was riding the scooter, he “was forced to avoid an oncoming vehicle and ran into a pothole when the scooter brakes malfunctioned. Mr. Aguilar fractured his left wrist requiring surgery with hardware.” Other injuries plaintiffs suffered from include, but are not limited to: broken or fractured bones, dislocated ankles and joints, sprained ankles or knees, “a hematoma on the back of…[the] head,” “a concussion,” “nasal fractures,” fractured neck vertebrae, cracked and chipped teeth, bruises, and facial lacerations. Some of these injuries required stitches or surgery. The plaintiffs averred that their injuries were caused by the scooter defects.
Riders complained of brakes malfunctioning, failing, locking or suddenly engaging; front wheels locking and wheels suddenly stopping, falling off or getting stuck; the scooters’ throttle suddenly getting stuck or suddenly accelerating; loose handlebars or handlebars that detached or suddenly turned 90 degrees; scooters suddenly stopping, shutting off or bottoming out; scooters skidding or sliding out from underneath riders; riders losing control or being thrown off scooters; and other incidents that purportedly caused injury. Furthermore, the riders claimed that these defects caused their injuries, so Lime should be held liable.
The riders also asserted that Lime “juicers,” who charge the scooters, are paid only when they pick up, charge and deploy the scooter back into the public rotation once fully charged. The plaintiffs claimed that “the Lime ‘juicers’ are not paid if they inform Lime that the scooter is defective and do not place the scooter back into the rotation,” and the juicers are allegedly “not employed to maintain the scooters.” As a result, the riders alleged that Lime fails to properly maintain the scooters and does not adequately warn users about potential injuries or provide operating instructions.
The claims for relief against the defendants are strict product liability, negligence, breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular or intended purpose, and breach of implied warranty of merchantability.
The plaintiffs, represented by Aria Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos LLP and McGee, Lerer & Associates, are seeking restitution, an award for damages, an award for medical and related expenses, an award for costs and fees and other relief.