• March 14, 2017

Ashanti Hughes, Savannah Dominick Killed in Harrisburg, PA, Hoverboard Fire Accident

Harrisburg, PA -- March 12, 2017, Ashanti Hughes and Savannah Dominick were killed, others were injured in an accident where a hoverboard caused a fire.

Fire and medical teams were called out to the accident scene, a town home located in the 2500 block of Lexington Street.

At around 7:45 p.m., the Harrisburg Fire Department received a call that a town home had caught fire due to a hoverboard battery exploding. The residence quickly wet up in flames.

As this occurred, three young children were inside the home. 3-year-old Hughes was unable to escape the town home, and she died at the scene. 10-year-old Dominick reportedly sustained critical injuries while trying to help other children escape the burning building. She later died in the hospital.

A third child remains in critical condition, and several other people were also injured in the fire.

Investigators say that the hoverboard was plugged in and charging when the combustion occurred. They have not released any additional details at this time.

Map of the Area


For anyone who thought the hoverboard scare ended the Christmas season before last, this story is a sobering wake-up call. This is an industry fraught with knock-offs and poorly constructed products.

Investigators are saying this accident happened because of a hoverboard exploding while being charged. Unstable and combustible lithium batteries are a serious issue about which there have been many examples, specifically with hoverboards (Exhibit A), smart phones (Exhibit B), and in general throughout the electronics industry (Exhibit C).

In a nutshell, absent physical damage to the lithium ion battery, these accidents are almost exclusively caused by the use of substandard materials in the manufacturing process. Manufactured properly, a lithium ion battery is a stable power source that only experiences issues when they suffer obviously, blunt-force trauma. When they're poorly made, these batteries are little more than ticking firebombs waiting to go off.

It is hard to envision a scenario where the manufacturer of this product doesn't have some liability. The reason for this is that it's unreasonable to expect consumers to become experts in every single product they buy. For this reason, the burden for making sure that products aren't unreasonably dangerous falls upon manufacturers, presumably experts in making their own product.

Hoverboard fires are a particularly egregious example of reckless manufacturing because in the vast majority of instances where these batteries fail, it is because a manufacturer chose cheap-substandard lithium ion batteries over building a safe product. Some people may have sympathy for a company that chooses to do business like that, I prefer to reserve my sympathies for those who are unwittingly injured or killed by these defective and dangerous products.

--Grossman Law Offices


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