Amazon Sued After Family Claims Hoverboard Fire Burned Down Their House
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A Tennessee family is suing Amazon after their $1 million house was destroyed in a fire caused by a "hoverboard" toy purchased on the site.
According to The Tennessean, the Fox family of Nashville claims that Amazon knew the hoverboard in question was a dangerous product, but sold it anyway. In January, the hoverboard caught fire, destroying all of the family's home and all their personal possessions. The father, Brian Fox, rescued two of his children from the blaze.
"The Foxes contend that Amazon and its various subsidiaries had information about the danger of this product well in advance of the January 9 fire, and on top of that, they had notice, they should have known the product was being misrepresented on their website," Steve Anderson, of the Nashville law firm Anderson & Reynolds PLC, told The Tennessean.
The lawsuit claims the hoverboard's seller -- listed online as "W-Deals" -- is a scam organization. The family reportedly believed they were buying a product with a Samsung lithium ion battery, but what they received was a counterfeit product from China.
The family's lawyers tried contacting W-Deals to no avail, so now they're turning to Amazon, citing Tennessee product liability law, which holds the seller responsible if the manufacturer can't be found. The suit seeks $30 million in damages.
Amazon declined to comment when contacted by PCMag, saying "we do not comment on litigation."
Amazon late last year pulled a number of hoverboards from its site, including devices from Hoverboard, PhunkeeDuck, CoolReall, Leray and Swagway. That came after the UK's consumer protection agency reported that more than 15,000 hoverboards were detained at the border based on issues with the plug, cabling, charger, battery or cut-off switch.
This July, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled more than 500,000 hoverboards sold by 10 different companies are being recalled over fire risks. W-Deals was not one of the companies mentioned at that time.