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Onewheel Injury Lawsuits Against Future Motion

The OneWheel is a new single-wheel skateboard powered by an electric motor. The OneWheel is made and sold by Future Motion Inc and has become very popular. A growing number of Onewheel riders are getting seriously injured due to a design defect that causes the OneWheel to stop very suddenly and unexpectedly, forcefully throwing the rider over the device.

Future Motion is now defending a rapidly growing number of OneWheel injury lawsuits. These product liability lawsuits allege that the Onewheel has a dangerous design flaw and that Future Motion is liable for the resulting injuries.

The OneWheel product liability lawsuits have been  consolidated into a new class action MDL.  Miller & Zois is currently accepting OneWheel injury lawsuits. Call us at 800-553-8082 for a free case evaluation or get a free case evaluation online.

OneWheel Lawsuit Update

June 3, 2024: Over the past month, an additional 10 new cases were transferred into the OneWheel injury class action MDL, bringing the total number of pending cases to 65.

May 15, 2024: Progress continues.  The judge has selected the six trials that will go first in this litigation.  The court will determine trial dates at the next status conference in July.

May 1, 2024:  The upcoming agenda for the third Case Management Conference (CMC) on May 9, 2024, underscores the remarkable speed with which settlement negotiations have begun with Future Motion. Magistrate Judge Beeler has organized a series of settlement conferences, beginning with a remote pre-settlement conference scheduled for June 27, 2024. This will be followed by two in-person settlement conferences on August 13 and October 1, 2024.

Preparation for Settlement: The parties are expected to exchange settlement conference statements ahead of these meetings, and engage in preliminary settlement discussions, as directed by Magistrate Judge Beeler.

May 1, 2024: During the month of April, 13 additional OneWheel injury lawsuits were transferred into the new MDL against Future Motion. There are now 55 total cases in the MDL.

April 25, 2024: A Florida man says he reached an agreement with Future Motion to settle his OneWheel lawsuit, but the company will not pay. Future Motion acknowledges an agreement on the final settlement amount of $50,000. However, it claims the settlement was conditional on reaching a sufficient number of tentative settlements within each policy period to trigger a provision in its insurance policy that would allow for insurance coverage.

April 19, 2024: Plaintiff’s have proposed three cases as bellwether trials:

  1. Haggerty v. Future Motion, Inc., Cause No. 1:22-cv-00322-SEG
  2. Oatridge v. Future Motion, Inc., Cause No. 5:21-cv-09906-BLF
  3. Lopez Roman v. Future Motion, Inc., Cause No. 3:23-CV-10072-KMM

What exactly is a bellwether trial?  It is a test trial or trials. The outcomes, while not legally binding on other cases, offer valuable insights into how juries might respond to similar evidence and testimony in subsequent trials. This process helps both parties gauge the strength of their cases, potentially leading to settlements in other similar lawsuits.

The OneWheel litigation will use bellwether trials to predict trends in jury decisions and determine OneWheel settlement amounts… unless a settlement occurs before we get that far, as many predict.

March 20, 2024: A OneWheel lawsuit was removed to federal court this week, which means it will get transferred to the MDL class action. This case involves a Florida man who alleges he suffered a broken collarbone, five shattered ribs, two additional broken ribs, two brain hemorrhages, damage to his rotator in the hip, and a punctured lung due to a defective OneWheel in 2022.

How did the accident happen?  His lawsuit he was riding the OneWheel in Winter Park, Florida when, without warning, the OneWheel nosedived, causing the “front of the board to slam into the ground” throwing the plaintiff off the board.

February 2, 2024: Some MDL class action lawsuits move slowly. This one will not. Judge Freeman already has a comprehensive scheduling order:

Event Date
Initial Disclosures Addressing Plaintiffs’ Identified Categories 30 Days from Service of List of Categories of Initial Disclosures
Deadline to Submit a Proposed Joint Protective Order February 1, 2024
Deadline to Advise the Court of Any Joint Selection of a Magistrate Judge for ADR February 1, 2024
Deadline to Reach Agreement Regarding Form of Plaintiff’s Fact Sheets February 5, 2024
Deadline to Submit Leadership Proposal for Personal Injury/Wrongful Death Lawsuits February 26, 2024
Deadline to File Agenda for Further Case Management Conference February 29, 2024
Deadline to Object to Leadership Proposal for Personal Injury/Wrongful Death Lawsuits March 1, 2024
Deadline to Serve Completed Plaintiff’s Fact Sheets on Defendant March 6, 2024
Further Case Management Conference March 7, 2024 at 1:30 p.m. by Zoom
Deadline to File Proposals for Representative Personal Injury/Wrongful Death Lawsuits April 10, 2024
Commencement of Fact Discovery of Representative Plaintiffs May 1, 2024
Initial Disclosures Relevant to Representative Plaintiffs 30 Days from Date of Court’s Selection of Representative Cases
Close of All Written Fact Discovery July 31, 2024
Last Day to File Motion for Class Certification in the Class Action Lawsuits September 16, 2024

January 19, 2024: Lawyers for OneWheel victims are ready to push forward. They recommend focusing first on common fact discovery against the defendant, to be completed by mid-2024, followed by plaintiff-specific discovery and expert disclosures, aiming to finish by late 2024.  We always want to move fast and get to trials to get verdicts and settlements.

The defendants want to slow down the pace of things. They propose a schedule for adding new cases and suggest that after pleadings are settled and lead counsel is selected, discovery should commence. They object to the plaintiffs’ proposal of starting discovery solely against the defendant and suggest a more balanced approach.

January 8, 2024: It is time to get the OneWheel class action lawsuit moving forward.  The U.S. District Court has scheduled the first status conference in ten days to come up with a game plan for consolidated federal lawsuits concerning Onewheel injuries and shepherding them towards trials. This conference, led by U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman, is set to address the organizational and procedural aspects of the MDL. The session will provide an opportunity for attorneys involved to give input on the litigation’s framework, including discussions on the plaintiff leadership structure and the approach for upcoming pretrial activities.

December 11, 2023: The OneWheel product liability lawsuits in federal courts have been consolidated into a new class action MDL in the Norther District of California. Now all OneWheel injury cases filed in federal courts across the country will be transferred into the MDL for consolidated pre-trial proceedings. The initial transfer order creating the MDL included 31 pending cases.

November 29, 2023: This Thursday, a panel of federal judges is scheduled to meet to discuss the possibility of consolidating all Onewheel injury-related lawsuits into a single multidistrict litigation (MDL), managed by one judge for streamlined pretrial proceedings. Our legal team has been receiving numerous inquiries about these cases. Each lawsuit argues that design defects in the Onewheel, especially concerning its “pushback” safety feature, have resulted in significant accidents and injuries. Uniquely, in this instance, the defendants are in favor of the consolidation, unlike in many class action lawsuits.


The Onewheel

The Onewheel is a self-balancing, single-wheeled, self-balancing, electric skateboard powered by an electric motor and a battery.

The Onewheel is operated by the rider shifting the balance of their weight forward or backward, which causes the motor to power the wheel in that same direction.

Onewheel riders can also download an app on their smartphone to help them control and monitor their Onewheel. The Onewheel has a top speed of around 18 miles per hour, around sprinting speed for most people.

Even under the best of circumstances, driving a OneWheel is risky business. Operating the self-powered board is a complex and risky endeavor. Initially, the rider must find equilibrium on the platform, which carries a significant chance of toppling over. The manufacturer recommends the support of “a friend” for stability while attempting to mount the board for the first time.

As these companies are wont to do, Future Motion played in both ways.  It stresses the necessity for users to exercise extreme caution and maintain constant contact with the board. But they advertising encourages users to leap from the board while it spins beneath them. Children are a considerable segment of the board’s user base – the ones they are targeting with Tik Tok videos – and they are the ones likely to do exactly what they see.

Onewheel Stopping Unexpectedly

The Onewheel lawsuits originate from incidents in which the Onewheel’s motor suddenly stopped unexpectedly during use. When a rider is on a Onewheel at full speed, an unexpected and sudden full stop can be very dangerous because it will immediately and violently throw the rider off the device. When a rider is suddenly thrown off the device, they can be thrown to the ground or strike nearby objects (or other people). At top speed, the force of these impacts can easily cause severe injuries and potentially even death.

The source of the sudden and unexpected stopping of the Onewheel appears to be a malfunction of what is intended to be a safety feature. When the Onewheel starts moving too fast or pushing the motor too hard, the device is supposed to give the rider “pushback” – this is supposed to involve the nose of the Onewheel forcing itself up to slow the motor down.

The problem is that on a growing number of occasions, the Onewheel pushback function has not been triggered correctly. Instead of pushing back and slowing down the motor gradually, the device simply shuts off completely causing it to nosedive forward. This occurs randomly and is triggered by various factors, including the rider’s size and weight, the tire pressure, battery level, and how the rider is balanced. Predicting when the nosedive will happen is impossible, which makes it even more hazardous.

Most pushback nosedives on the Onewheel occurred due to excessive speeds on the device. However, another form of pushback can be triggered suddenly if the battery on the device is getting low. This pushback purportedly alerts riders by elevating the nose dramatically. When the Onewheel purportedly senses that the batteries are about to be damaged by over-depletion, the board will shut off entirely, leaving the rider suddenly and unexpectedly off-balance, often resulting in the rider being thrown from the board.

Public Safety Warning

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) issued a public safety warning about the danger of the Onewheel in November of 2022. The CPSC warning advised consumers to stop using the Onewheel completely, due to the potential safety risk posed by the pushback and nosedive issue. According to the initial public notice from the CPSC, Future Motion had voluntarily agreed to some sort of safety recall. It is not clear, however, whether that even actually happened.

Future Motion Pushes Back Against the CPSC

On November 16, 2022, a public safety notification was released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), cautioning consumers about the hazards associated with certain self-balancing electric skateboards. This announcement pointed to potential dangers in using these devices.

Contrary to taking corrective action to address the highlighted concerns, the company behind the skateboards responded with resistance. It challenged the CPSC’s advisory, insisting that their products were, overall, safe for use. The company took to social media platforms like TikTok to disseminate their counter-message. Their CEO characterized the skateboards as being “misunderstood” rather than inherently hazardous.

In a pronounced rebuttal, the company’s representatives critiqued the CPSC’s recommendation for a recall. They argued that the CPSC had not pinpointed a specific defect within the skateboards. A company spokesperson articulated their stance through a video statement, suggesting that the federal agency was overreaching in its efforts to mandate a recall of all units ever sold. They pushed back, refusing to comply with the recall.

The same video post went on to challenge the CPSC, accusing the agency of failing to recognize any particular technical issue with the skateboards. Overall, the company seemed to be selectively addressing the CPSC’s points while attempting to deflect the central issues raised by the commission.

OneWheel Recall

In late September 2023, the CPSC had had enough.  Its recall stated:

“Future Motion has received dozens of reports of incidents involving the electric skateboards, including four reported deaths between 2019 and 2021 and injuries such as traumatic brain injury, concussion, paralysis, upper body fractures, lower-body fractures and ligament damage. The reported deaths resulted from head trauma and, in at least three of those incidents, the rider was not wearing a helmet. Future Motion and the CPSC encourage all riders to wear personal protective equipment while riding.”

The notice warned people to immediately stop using the skateboards, which can “stop balancing the rider if the boards’ limits are exceeded, posing a crash hazard that can result in serious injury or death.”

Future Motion announced a firmware update, known as “haptic buzz,” which will be available for several of its products. This feature provides riders with an audible and tactile alert to caution them in scenarios that could potentially lead to a crash.

The update is scheduled for release in the coming weeks. However, it will only be applicable to the Onewheel GT, Pint X, Pint, and XR models. The original Onewheel and Onewheel+ skateboards are not included in this update.

Onewheel Injury Lawsuits

Over the last year, and especially following the CPSC public safety warning, a rising number of Onewheel injury lawsuits have been filed against Future Motion across the country. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits are Onewheel riders who were seriously injured when their Onewheel suddenly stopped and threw them off the device. The lawsuits claim that the nosedive is the result of a negligent design defect and, therefore, Future Motion should be liable for any resulting injuries caused by the defect.

Onewheel Class Action Lawsuit

The Onewheel injury lawsuits in federal courts are going to be consolidated into a new class action MDL very soon. A motion has already been filed by a group of Onewheel injury plaintiffs asking the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to create a new MDL. When that motion was filed, there were 31 Onewheel injury cases pending across the country, all making similar factual and legal allegations.

Surprisingly, Future Motion filed a response in which it actually agreed that a class action MDL should be established for all Onewheel injury lawsuits. The only real question is what federal court the Onewheel MDL should be assigned to. Future Motion is asking that the MDL be located in the Middle District of Florida. Future Motion claims that the reason for this is that most of the pending cases are already located there, but it probably has more to do with strategic preferences.

Who Can File a Onewheel Injury Lawsuit?

Anyone who was seriously injured while riding a Onewheel device (whether they owned it or not) because the device stopped unexpectedly, throwing them off, is eligible to file a Onewheel personal injury lawsuit.

Settlement Value of Onewheel Injury Lawsuits

It is very difficult to give a universal estimate for the potential settlement amounts of the Onewheel injury lawsuits.

In most other mass tort product liability lawsuits, the plaintiffs usually all have the same or very similar injury types. That is not the case with the Onewheel lawsuits. The plaintiffs in the Onewheel lawsuits will have a wide range of physical injuries of all different types and levels of severity. So guessing settlement compensation payouts is near impossible at this stage to the litigation.  The fact that injuries are case specific makes it that much harder.

So why even estimate OneWheel settlement numbers?  Our lawyers think victims should know what the range of our guess as long as they understand that it is speculation at this point.

The range of physical injuries involved in the Onewheel lawsuits will be somewhat comparable to the range of injuries that you could potentially see in an auto accident case. Based on what we know about the value range of auto accident injury cases, and assuming that the Onewheel claims are viable, we can give an estimated settlement value range based on the severity level of the injuries.

Our lawyers think that Onewheel injury plaintiffs with the top-level injuries (e.g., traumatic brain injuries, permanent disabilities, etc.) could see settlement payouts in the range of $300,000 to $750,000 if these lawsuits are successful.  You would expect the wrongful death lawsuits – we know of at least four deaths – to be even higher.

Plaintiffs with lower-level injuries (e.g., concussions, soft tissue injuries, etc.) could see OneWheel settlement amounts between of $30,000 to $100,000. Mid-level injuries like broken bones, or herniated discs will fall somewhere in between.

Hire a Onewheel Injury Lawyer

Our product liability lawyers are currently accepting Onewheel injury cases from individuals who meet our eligibility criteria. If you were injured by a Onewheel electric skateboard device, call our office today at 800-553-8082 or contact us online.

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They quite literally worked as hard as if not harder than the doctors to save our lives. Terry Waldron
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Hopefully I won't need it again but if I do, I have definitely found my lawyer for life and I would definitely recommend this office to anyone! Bridget Stevens
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The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa