SCOOTING TO A HALT?
Following our article on Juul last month we thought we would continue the trend of disruptive technologies that faced difficulties (legally speaking). This month features Lime, a scooter company that has rocketed to a $2 billion valuation in just a short two years. Relying on ‘Lime Juicers’ (individuals who redistribute and recharge scooters for money in a freelance fashion) the company boasts a presence in over 100 cities, with a phone application making it easy for anyone to use.
Unfortunately, their scooters have recently had a software flaw that leads to ‘sudden and excessive braking’ leading to over 100 injuries. Lime played down the issue whilst apologizing: “While this issue has affected less than 0.0045% of all Lime rides, some riders have been injured, and, although most have been bumps and bruises, any injury is one too many”. Lime encourage defensive driving, wearing a helmet and limiting speeds, however there is no ability or likely willingness to enforce this, as it would be devastating for their customer base. Unfortunately, this advice doesn’t protect them from legal action, with several lawsuits being initiated by those who suffered injury at the hands of this ‘glitch’ in Australia. This is only the most recent lawsuit, as the company, (along with it’s competitor, Bird) are also embroiled in a large class action lawsuit in Los Angeles, citing the scooters as cause of injury not only for riders, but for pedestrians also (through obstruction of pathways).
The topic of scooters must be of real importance: Netflix released a documentary on these problems, featuring Catherine Leer, a lawyer who has made a name for herself specializing in this area. What’s next, a fast & furious film featuring scooters? Maybe not.