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Today’s ‘Great Toy’ Can Lead to Tomorrow’s ER Visit

Just a few months ago, hoverboards were all the rage. Celebrities were seen on them every day and most teenagers had one on their Christmas list. The craze has died, and unfortunately, so have a number of users, mostly children, including a six-year-old boy. Hundreds of injuries have also been reported, and not just from falls, although one death in London came when a 15-year-old fell into the path of an oncoming bus. Many users –at least 22 as of January, 2016—had also reported that the devices had a risk of spontaneously catching on fire, apparently from overheated batteries.

Just after Christmas, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released a report indicating that, to its knowledge, there had been more than 70 emergency room visits related to hoverboards, including:

  • Falls
  • Smoke-inhalation when a hoverboard caught fire
  • Broken finger caused when a hoverboard ran over a bystander


In Philadelphia, local doctors said they saw a dramatic spike in hoverboard-related accidents in the days following Christmas. According to Dr. Michael Rivlin, a hand and arm specialist at Jefferson University Hospital, he’s never encountered as many injuries in such a short period of time in his entire medical career. He treated seven patients for broken bones in just over a day. The ages of the injured? All across the board, says Rivlin, who treated a patient as young as 10 and one as old as 50.

Rivlin says most fractures come when users try to brace a fall by putting out their arm. He cautioned, though, that the injuries could be much more severe, including neck or head injuries, and even paralysis or death. The hoverboards apparently do not negotiate changes in ground level very well. Safety experts have said that a slight rise in pavement can stop a hoverboard in its tracks, possibly throwing the rider off balance.

Contact Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli

At the law firm of Fritz, Goldenberg & Bianculli, we have more than 30 years of combined experience successfully protecting the rights of personal injury victims in the greater Philadelphia area. We have recovered nearly $200 million in settlements and verdicts in cases that other law firms initially turned down.

To set up a free initial consultation, call our office at 215-458-2222 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged, if necessary. We will come to your home or the hospital for an appointment.