Since the introduction of dockless, electric scooters in the Los Angeles area, there have been numerous complaints about the danger of the scooters as well as lawsuits accusing scooter rental firms of negligence and contributing to civil unrest, but the Civil Justice Association of California believes that the lawsuits are targeting the wrong parties.
Lime, Bird and other companies who have introduced electric scooters to the Los Angeles area have come under fire after plaintiffs in the lawsuits claim the companies should be doing more to ensure that the users act responsibly.
John Doherty, president of the Civil Justice Association of California, however, believes that the companies are not the ones to blame.
"Companies and manufacturers rightfully have a duty of care to their consumers and the general public and must make sure that the products and services they offer are free of defects and comply with applicable statutes and regulations," Doherty told the Northern California Record.
John Doherty Courtesy of CJAC
Doherty does not believe that the companies should be held responsible for the damages caused by their products, be it someone tripping over a scooter left on the sidewalk or being struck by one that was in use.
"Requiring these entities to assume the liabilities is both dangerous and misguided," Doherty said. "Almost every conceivable item produced can be misused, from baseball bats to trampolines to crowbars and beyond."
According to Doherty, the liability for misuse no more lies with the manufacturers than does liability in a car accident fall to the car manufacturer.
"The liability for misuse must remain on the party that caused the injury, or the legal system will break down rapidly," Doherty said.