Family Sues Amazon for $30 Million Over House Fire

In November 2015, Megan Fox bought a new hoverboard from seller, “W-Deals,” on Amazon for $274.79 as a Christmas gift for her 14-year-old son. After two weeks of use, the hoverboard burst into flames, engulfing the family’s house and destroying all of the family’s personal property.

At the time of the fire, two of Megan and Brian Fox’s four children were on the second floor of their house. According to the complaint, Brian Fox came home to discover that his teenage children were trapped. Brian first encouraged his 16-year-old daughter to break her glass window and jump from the second story into his arms. His daughter did jump, but as a result suffered a sprained ankle and cuts on her legs, requiring stitches. Brian was then able to take a ladder to go up to his 14-year-old son’s window and asked him to break the glass. His son broke the glass and jumped out of the window, which caused the two to fall off the ladder onto the ground. Brian Fox fractured two bones in his right elbow during the fall and his son suffered cuts to his hands and legs, as well as nerve damage to his left hand. All survived. 

The lawsuit claims that the hoverboard’s seller, W-Deals, is a scam organization. The family reportedly believed they were buying a product with a Samsung lithium ion battery, but what they received was a counterfeit product from China. The family’s lawyers tried contacting W-Deals with no luck, so now they are taking on Amazon and its subsidiaries (under Tennessee product liability law, the seller is responsible if the manufacturer cannot be found).

The lawsuit claims that the instruction pamphlet “contained no warnings about risk of fire, no warnings about excessive heat following use, and no warnings about excessive heat or the risk of the fire while charging the product or shortly thereafter.” Additionally, the Fox family alleges that the defendants knew of multiple instances of fire caused by hoverboards that had been sold or distributed through Amazon.

The family brought claims of product liability, negligence and misrepresentation against Amazon. They say the value of their home and personal property lost in the fire is more than $1.9 million, and they are seeking $30 million plus punitive damages. 

This case is: Charles Brian Fox, et al. v. Amazon.com, Inc., et al., in the Circuit Court for Davidson County, Tennessee.

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