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Electric scooters are all the rage -- some people really like them, and the rest of us are mad as hell. Some e-scooter companies have been banned from cities like San Francisco and Santa Cruz after their products have littered sidewalks, caused injuries, and been driven drunk.
And a new class action lawsuit against two of the largest e-scooter companies, Bird and Live, showed "a wanton disregard for the safety of others" by "dumping" scooters on public streets without an appropriate warnings or training. The damage, according to the suit, is tantamount to "aiding and abetting assault."
Three plaintiffs claim they were walking when they were struck by e-scooter riders, causing serious injuries. Their lawsuit -- which could include many more plaintiffs -- alleges the e-scooter companies knew their riders were injuring pedestrians and the companies committed "gross negligence" by failing to stop the collisions from occurring. "While acting under the guise of the commendable goals of furthering personal freedom and mobility and protecting the environment," the suit claims, "the Defendants, and each of them, are endangering the health, safety and welfare of riders, pedestrians and the general public."
"[S]cores (if not hundreds) of riders and pedestrians and members of the public have suffered, are continuing to suffer and will to continue to suffer egregious and avoidable injuries and damage to their person and property," according to the lawsuit.
Safety and Suffering
The suit also accuses the e-scooter fleets of containing defective electronics and mechanical parts, being poorly maintained, and being prone to dangerous mechanical failures. Along with compensatory damages, the plaintiffs are seeking "adequate warnings and/or instructions" to the e-scooter companies' apps and vehicles, if not an outright ban in California.
Both Lime and Bird asserted their products are safe. "[S]afety has always been at the very core of everything we do at Lime," according to a spokesperson, "as is our mission of reducing cars from city streets and making them safer and greener for pedestrians, bike and scooter riders alike." A statement from Bird claimed, "There is no evidence that riding an e-scooter presents a greater level of danger to riders than riding a bike."
But the "scores (if not hundreds) of riders and pedestrians and members of the public have suffered, are continuing to suffer and will to continue to suffer egregious and avoidable injuries and damage to their person and property," according to the class action suit, may beg to differ.