The parents of two girls killed in an April fire are suing Walmart and the company that made a hoverboard they blame for starting the blaze.
Brianna Baer, 15, and Abigail Kaufman, 10, of Hellertown, Pennsylvania, died in the fire, according to Lehigh Valley Live.
Although their father, Damien Kaufman, tried to rescue the girls, they could not be saved and later died due to burns and smoke inhalation.
As a result, Walmart and manufacturer Jetson Electric Bikes are being sued over the hoverboard, which was purchased in 2018, according to the Morning Call.
Tom Kline, the attorney for the family, said an independent investigation indicated the hoverboard was the source of the fire.
According to the Morning Call, Northampton County officials had not yet issued any ruling more specific than saying the cause of the fire was “electrical in nature.”
“We conducted a thorough cause-and-origin investigation with multiple experts in which we carefully evaluated the evidence not only from the fire scene itself but also did an inspection of the hoverboard,” he said.
“We are convinced based on our careful and thorough investigation that the hoverboard is responsible,” he said.
“We intend to hold the seller and the manufacturer of this dangerous product responsible for the deaths of two innocent young children, and, in doing so, seek to prevent future preventable injury, death and grief from occurring,” Kline told the Pennsylvania Record.
“While charging, the Jetson Rogue Hoverboard ignited causing the home to be engulfed with flames and smoke,” the lawsuit said, according to the Record.
“Due to the unreasonably dangerous and defective design of the Jetson Rogue Hoverboard, as described throughout this complaint, plaintiff minor-decedents, Abigail Kaufman and Brianna Baer were caused to burn and suffer smoke inhalation, which resulted in their deaths, witnessed by their parents, plaintiffs, Jennifer Kaufman and Damian Kaufman on April 1,” the suit said, according to the Record.
“Defendants’ manual and website fails to acknowledge the risk of severe injury or death to owners through fire caused by its defective design, and they proceeded to market and sell the Jetson Rogue Hoverboard anyway,” the Record quoted the suit as saying.
Heartbreaking update: 15-year-old Brianna Baer & 10-year-old Abigail Kaufman both died in a fire at their home in #Hellertown early this morning. Their grandmother just shared these photos of them with us. American Legion Post 397 is gathering donations for their parents @69News pic.twitter.com/ozCyjkzIqX
— Priscilla Liguori (@PriscillaWFMZ) April 1, 2022
The Morning Call quoted the suit as saying that the hoverboard’s lithium batteries had a flaw that allowed for short circuits and degradation.
Defendants “knowingly, purposely and consciously concealed their knowledge of these serious dangers,” the suit said, according to the Morning Call.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said it knows of more than 250 incidents since 2015 concerning hoverboards that either caught fire or overheated, including a 2017 incident that killed two people.
In a statement, Walmart said: “Our thoughts go out to the Kaufman family for their loss. We expect our suppliers to provide safe, quality products that meet all applicable laws and regulations. We will respond with the Court as appropriate after we are served with the complaint,” according to WPMT-TV.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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