Lime electric scooters have been on a roller coaster of positive reviews and criticism since they started appearing in American cities in 2017. These past five years have proven divisive, with some users saying Lime provides a low-impact and environmentally friendly way to travel. To hear fans tell it, you’re one download of the Lime app away from carefree transportation.
Some users didn’t find their experience on a Lime scooter all that pleasant. In numerous instances, Lime scooters have malfunctioned in a way that caused the rider to crash, leading to severe injuries.
Lime Scooter Crash Injury Lawsuit
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), as of September 2020, electric scooters, e-bikes and hoverboards combined had accounted for more than 133,000 emergency room visits nationwide. At least 41 people had died due to the crashing of a so-called “micromobility” device.
The fastest-rising culprit in that report was e-scooters, which accounted for 27,700 emergency room visits in 2019, more than three times the number (7,700) attributed to their use in 2017. While some injuries could be attributed to user error, others can be blamed squarely on Lime and its flawed approach to manufacturing and maintenance.
Lime Scooter Crash Risks
Defects that have caused crashes in Lime electric scooters include:
- The brakes engaging despite the user not touching them, sending an unsuspecting rider flying off at high speed;
- Uncontrolled acceleration of the scooter caused by the throttle becoming locked;
- The scooter snapping in half at the baseboard during use.
The propensity of scooters breaking apart inspired a 2018 recall by Lime, its second that year. According to a Washington Post story, independent contractors who work for Lime had noticed cracks in the scooters that developed after normal use. The cracks became a vulnerability that could lead to fracture mid-ride, sending the user spilling onto the street or sidewalk.
These independent contractors, called “juicers,” work overnight to charge scooters before their use the next day. Juicers have an incentive to ignore potentially defective Lime scooters because they do not receive pay if a scooter has to be removed from rotation.
Lime Scooter Recalls
One independent contractor told the Washington Post they had seen cracks appearing in Lime scooters within mere days of usage, while another estimated as many as 20 percent of scooters they saw exhibited the same cracking defect.
In one Johnson//Becker lawsuit, a Lime rider in Lubbock, Texas suffered “significant orthopedic injuries to his right foot and ankle” in a crash caused by the baseboard snapping in half during normal use.
In November 2018, Lime issued a statement about its recalls, including the recall that year of 2,000 scooters whose lithium batteries were at risk of spontaneously bursting into flames.
“Safety is Lime’s highest priority,” it said. “The vast majority of Lime’s fleet is manufactured by other companies and decommissioned Okai scooters are being replaced with newer, more advanced scooters considered best in class for safety. We don’t anticipate any real service disruptions.”
In February 2019, Lime acknowledged the problem of scooters suddenly and excessively braking, causing a crash risk. The company claimed this “bug” happened only under “rare circumstances,” and did not issue a recall to address the problem.
Lime Scooter Lawsuit Details
On Super Bowl Sunday 2019, around the same time Lime acknowledged this risk, a scooter in Atlanta malfunctioned by braking unexpectedly, throwing its rider to the ground. The woman riding sustained various injuries, including to her head, according to a complaint filed by Johnson//Becker. She would later have no memory of her accident, or the time immediately before and after her crash occurred. She continued to suffer from occasional migraine headaches long after the crash.
In fall 2019, a Lime user in Corpus Christi, Texas noticed her scooter had become jammed at full speed and was unable to slow the device. When the e-scooter hit a crack, the woman was thrown to the ground, breaking her wrist. She later experienced difficulty sleeping, causing problems with concentration and memory, and continues to experience pain in the wrist while attempting yoga, or even mundane household chores.
As alleged in a Johnson//Becker complaint on behalf of an injured Lime user, riders “are unaware of the clear failure to maintain the scooters, the defective nature of the scooters, and the dangers associated with the scooters.” The same cannot be said for Lime, the complaint alleges, which “placed an unsafe product into the stream of commerce” and compounded the potential danger when it “aggressively over-promoted and marketed its scooters.”
Lime Scooter Battery Fire Risk
In mid-2018, Lime recalled over 2,000 of its scooters in California after reports came in the lithium batteries used to power it were found to spontaneously catch fire.
After the incidents of fire, Lime and Segway, the scooter manufacturer, battled over responsibility for the problem. Segway denied Lime’s claim of a manufacturing defect that made them susceptible to catching fire. Lime issued a statement the batteries were fire-prone due to a welding issue that causes them to short-circuit.
However, Segway intervened and indicated their products undergo rigorous battery testing. “It’s highly unlikely to cause a battery to short circuit,” the company said.
Segway vice president Tony Ho said in a Washington Post article he believes the reason for batteries in Lime scooters exploding was possible rider abuse, or improper maintenance and charging practices by Lime itself.
Questions about a Lime Scooter Lawsuit? Contact a Johnson//Becker lawyer today for a free case review.
If you or someone you love was injured from riding on a Lime scooter, either by sudden braking, uncontrolled acceleration, the scooter breaking during normal use, or another malfunction, you may want to speak with the lawyers at Johnson//Becker. We are actively filing new Lime scooter lawsuits across the country, and you may be entitled to financial compensation for the injuries you sustained in a Lime scooter accident.
We offer a free case evaluation. Please contact us using the form below or by calling us at (800) 279-6386.
We would be honored to speak with you and respond promptly to every inquiry we receive.