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Family files $30 million lawsuit against Amazon after hoverboard fire burns down home

By midian182 · 16 replies
Oct 31, 2016
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  1. Remember all the hoverboards that were catching fire at the end of last year? Amazon certainly does. Safety concerns resulted in the online retailer banning a large number of the devices back in December, but the move came too late for one Nashville family, who has filed a lawsuit against the company after their $1 million home burned down.

    Brian and Megan Fox are seeking $30 million in damages against Amazon and their subsidiaries. The family is also requesting that the jury consider additional financial penalties against the retailer, along with compensation for the physical and emotional distress they suffered.

    The couple bought the $274.79 FITURBO F1 hoverboard in November 2015 as a Christmas present for their 14-year-old son. They say it came with “no warnings about risk of fire, no warnings about excessive heat following use, and no warnings about excessive heat or the risk of the fire while charging the product or shortly thereafter.”

    On January 9, the couple’s teenage daughter and son were at home when they heard a noise downstairs. After the 16-year-old realized it was a fire, she kicked out a second story window and jumped into her father’s arms, who had arrived after the girl called him asking for help.

    “I got there and I was kicking in the doors and I thought, ‘I’m going to lose two of my four children today,’” said Brian Fox.“I was yelling for her, ‘Please jump, baby; Please jump,’ and she jumped out the window without hesitation.”

    Fox used a ladder to retrieve his son, but the pair fell off when the boy jumped out of the window. All three suffered various injuries, including lacerations that required stitches, fractured bones, and nerve damage. The family's 4000-square-foot home was destroyed.

    The Fox's lawyer, Steven Anderson, said it’s still unclear who manufactured the hoverboard. “We’ve spent months investigating it and to this day I don’t know who manufactured this product, and it doesn’t appear that Amazon does,” he told USA Today.

    The lawsuit alleges that the family thought they were buying a hoverboard with a Samsung lithium-ion battery, but instead received a counterfeit item from a fake organization. The listed seller, W-Deals, is registered to a New York apartment, and has not responded to requests from lawyers. Tennessee liability law holds a seller responsible if a manufacturer cannot be found.

    The lawsuit also claims the defendants knew about the previous fires caused by hoverboards, and that they had a duty to contact purchasers to warn them of the potential dangers.

    The lawsuit was filed in Davidson County Circuit Court. Amazon said it does not comment on pending cases.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,797   +1,537

    The house was insured, the family had medical insurance, etc, etc. The maker is liable and if I remember correctly there was a recall on this item rather quickly. Amazon does have a reputation for putting anything on their site and I've been burned a few times with no help from them, but $30 million? Just another case of somebody trying to get rich quick. Cost over insurance, pain and suffering, etc. I could see this possibly going as high as $2 million but even that is a bit of a stretch......
  3. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 835   +411

    Amazon is probably going to end up settling the case and the family will get something. How much is up to the courts, but I'm guessing at least enough to build a new house, furnish it, and have some left over.
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,514   +900

    I can almost guarantee that it will settle. I used to work at a law firm and 95% of the cases that we would panic to get ready would just settle because people just want their money.

    The amount they are after is completely unrealistic. It is pretty obvious that someone is being greedy, wither the law firm, the family or both.

    Also, where is their insurance? It should cover most of the damage, unless they updated their policy to not cover damage by hoverboards.

    Moral of the story, we need to have more of an attitude of gratitude. Be grateful for what you got. In their case, be grateful for your family. Things could always be worse. Don't get me wrong though, I do hope they are able to get their house rebuilt and their life back in order.

    Oh, one more important thought. Have a fire escape plan prepared (including escape ladders) and practice it. I know many people over look it, even myself but I live in a one story house.
    Johnnyblaze1957 and USAvenger like this.
  5. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Maniac Posts: 253   +108

    They had a $1MM, 4000 square foot home. They are already rich.
    wastedkill likes this.
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,503   +3,500

    They had a big mortgage. Having a $1mm home is as indicative of being "rich" as driving a BMW is indicative of having good credit. (Hint: it isn't.)
  7. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,456   +1,735

    There is also a chance the fire wasn't caused by the device, which if cannot be proven will end up with them getting nothing, which would be fine, 'cos I hate the get-rich-quick a$$holes, and it seems like this is exactly who they are.
    wastedkill likes this.
  8. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Maniac Posts: 383   +180

    How is this Amazon's fault and not the maker of the hoverboard? I can damn near guarantee there was piece of paper (maybe not in the right language) regarding the Li-Ion battery in the hoverboard.
  9. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Addict Posts: 154   +72

    Be sure to read the whole thing! $1m house, $30m lawsuit because of house, injuries, and emotional damages. They got fractured bones and nerve damage jumping from their window.

    Also, They are suing Amazon BECAUSE the seller could not be found so they are liable. I agree Amazon will settle, probably for the 15-20 million dollar range. I feel for the family on this one. These things are dangerous! Amazon took steps to prevent selling more, but never went back and warned people who already bought them. So kinda in a small way their fault too.
  10. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 560   +59

    Doesn't hover, no such thing (to this extent) case closed :D
  11. mcborge

    mcborge TS Maniac Posts: 396   +249

    So they bought it in November... It was recalled in December... They STILL had it in January... A smart parent would have not taken any chances and gotten that thing out of the house as soon as the recall came into effect... I'm glad no one was too badly injured but were they totally oblivious to the fire risk and the recall...
  12. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,358   +1,517

    Ohh they wanted a model with a Samsung battery so it wouldn’t catch fire, Gotacha ;)

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note 5.
    wastedkill, Arris and Johnnyblaze1957 like this.
  13. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 411   +256

    Its all about the money. It was sold by a third party seller in amazon. Amazon is a marketplace. Everytime I shop in Amazon, I make sure seller is amazon.com.

    Look at how many unprotected 18650 batteries inside the hover in the picture.
  14. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,686   +350

    Living on the edge! (or Note in this case).
  15. Wendy Oltman

    Wendy Oltman TS Booster Posts: 129   +16

    Living on the edge? Samsung Galaxy Note 5 doesn't have the history of exploding, if so I don't know of?
  16. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,686   +350

    No Note 5 problems, just poking fun at Steve posting from a Samsung device :)
    Wendy Oltman likes this.
  17. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    Maybe in their next house invest in a smoke detector and some fire extinguishers?

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