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Why you may want to think twice before purchasing a hoverboard

This past holiday season, hoverboards were among the most-popular of all toys and topped the lists of many children, young and old alike. While the name conjures up images of some sort of space-agey levitating device, in realty hoverboards are essentially battery-powered skateboards that typically cost around $300 to $400. While marketed as a fun way to get around, there's growing concern about the safety risks that hoverboards pose including fire hazards.

According to news reports, the lithium batteries in the devices are prone to catch fire and even explode. As of Jan. 20, 2016 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was in the process of investigating 48 hoverboard-related fires that have broke out in 20 states.

A New York father, who purchased a hoverboard for his son, filed a lawsuit in December after he said the device started on fire while charging and damaged his home. The man is seeking class action status of his lawsuit in which he accuses the device's maker and seller of selling a defective and dangerous product.

In cases where an individual suffers injury or harm due to a hoverboard exploding or starting on fire, he or she may be able to file a lawsuit to recover damages related to medical bills, lost wages and disability.

Companies that make, market and sell products have a duty to ensure their products are safe and free of hazards. Therefore, in cases involving injuries that stem from dangerous and/or defective products, it's wise to seek the advice

Source: CNN Money, "One of the hottest holiday presents this year may also be a gift to personal injury lawyers," Heather Kelly, Dec. 30, 2015

WHNT-19, "Taking Action Investigation: Hoverboards under fierce microscope after multiple fires," Carrie Marchese, Feb. 10, 2016

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