Oct 22, 2018

Scooter companies face suit over safety

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

Mark Cuban opens door to 2020 run

Photo: Axios Events

Businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban revived talk of an improbable 2020 presidential bid during an Axios virtual event on Friday.

  • "Everything's a reset right now," Cuban told Axios CEO Jim VandeHei from Dallas. "If this would would've been a month ago, I would have said absolutely not. But obviously things are crazy, things are changing. So I'll keep an open mind. But I seriously doubt it."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,066,706 — Total deaths: 56,767 — Total recoveries: 223,697Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 258,214 — Total deaths: 6,605 — Total recoveries: 9,408Map.
  3. Business latest: Mark Cuban criticizes "arrogant" 3M on respirator production — The wartime mobilization effort to produce ventilators and medical supplies got started too late.
  4. Politics latest: Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are worried about the difficulties of delivering the $2.2 trillion in stimulus aid.
  5. Jobs update: The U.S. lost 701,000 jobs in March, but the new report doesn't reflect the height of the virus' impact on the economy.
  6. World update: About half of the deaths worldwide are in Italy and Spain, with fatalities exponentially increasing across Europe.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Mark Cuban criticizes "arrogant" 3M on respirator production

Photo: Axios Events

Businessman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said during an Axios virtual event Friday that 3M is "arrogant" for not speaking up about respirator production in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

What he said: Cuban criticized the company for "making more globally than domestically," echoing a similar line from President Trump now that the U.S. is the epicenter of the pandemic. "You can't ghost the American people," he told Axios CEO Jim VandeHei from Dallas.