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Riding electric scooters in Santa Monica, Calif. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

A class action lawsuit filed on Friday in Los Angeles accuses the two largest scooter rental companies — Bird and Lime — of "gross negligence" that's resulted in a number of injuries to pedestrians and riders, according to the Washington Post. It also names scooter manufacturers Segway and Xiaomi.

Why it matters: The suit puts a spotlight on the ongoing question of how much these scooter rental companies can and should do to ensure safety, as well as the fact that most existing roads don't have a place for the motorized devices.

The lawsuit raises some important questions about the companies' operations, including how safe the scooters are by design and whether they are being maintained properly. There's been a rise of scooter rider injuries, and two reported fatalities. The details of the lawsuit, per WashPost:

  • It was filed on behalf of eight plaintiffs, but seeks class action status.
  • It alleges that Bird and Lime's scooters from Xiaomi and Segway are defective, and that the companies aren't providing adequate safety instructions for riders.
  • One plaintiff, a Los Angeles street performer, says he was struck from behind and injured by a scooter rider who then left the scene.

Go deeper

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

Screenshot: Fox News

President Trump has delivered a farewell speech and departed Washington for the last time on Air Force One, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

What's next: The inaugural celebration for young Americans is being livestreamed, starting at 10am.

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump departs on final Air Force One flight

President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.