Patron is Injured by Crash at Hoverboard Demonstration


Mechanical Engineering Expert WitnessThis case involves the mechanical defect of a hoverboard and improper instructions and guidance on how to use it, resulting in serious injury. The plaintiff is a supervisor for an amusement park and he was instructed, by his manager, to attend a hoverboard demonstration. At one point during the demonstration, the plaintiff was riding the hoverboard when the device suddenly burst into flames and exploded. The plaintiff suffered severe third degree burns to both of his legs. The plaintiff believes the machine was defected and that there were inadequate safety measures provided during the demonstration.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What is your experience with the design of a hoverboard?

Expert Witness Response E-008051

I am very familiar with the design of hoverboards and have been deposed in 3 hoverboard accident cases. I have also served as a technical consultant on about 3 other hoverboard related cases. The cause of the explosion may be attributed to a variety of factors, such as the mechanism used for charging and the strength of the device’s most recent charge. Like many household devices such as laptops, phones,  and tablets, these hoverboards utilize lithium ion batteries and the liquid contained within these batteries are highly flammable. Most modern lithium ion batteries must undergo extensive stress testing such as drop, crush and electrical tests, in addition to containing mechanisms which attempt to control their volatility, such as air vents. It appears that the user in this case was not adequately informed of the risks that are commonly associated with these devices. When there are people unfamiliar with hoverboards attempting to utilize them, it is imperative that someone knowledgeable in their proper use and risks, advise the users as they interact with the hoverboards.

Expert Witness Response E-008183

I was involved in the initial development, via my employment with a major manufacturer. As technical program manager, I designed and supplied tires and wheels for hoverboards. I am very familiar with the operational principles of dynamic stabilization. My academic experience includes linear and non-linear dynamics, which are the foundation of dynamic stabilization.

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