Electric scooters and the shared economy

If you have spent any time in Los Angeles or New York City recently, you may have noticed adults riding two-wheeled electric scooters − the type we are more accustomed to seeing kids ride. These scooters are the latest transportation tools in the ever-evolving sharing economy.

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By now, followers of California’s Proposition 65 are well aware of the August 30, 2018, changes. In a nutshell, they are:

  • Changes to warnings that require inclusion of a specific chemical and potential harmful result of either cancer and/or birth defect
  • Required website warnings
  • Mandatory pictograph and required font size
  • The burden is shifted from retailers to manufacturers
  • Annual renewal and review.


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The discovery phase in your products liability lawsuit has been completed and it’s time to decide the next course of action before proceeding to trial. One possibility, of course, is to move for summary judgment to knock out the entire case pending against your client. However, you have concluded that, despite the strengths of your case, there are enough “issues of fact” to make the exercise probably useless.

Have you considered instead a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment? Perhaps you should.

The first step is to determine whether your jurisdiction permits motions for partial summary judgment to be filed. Rule 56 of The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure specifically calls for “Partial” summary judgments in its very title. In my home state, New York’s CPLR 3212(e) reads, “In any other action summary judgment may be granted as to one or more causes of action, or part thereof, in favor of any one or more parties, to the extent warranted, on such terms as may be just.” Thus, there is little doubt that under the right reading of the law and facts, a partial summary judgment might be allowed.
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One of the items an insurance adjuster will look at when valuing a product liability claim is to see how much the plaintiff incurred in medical expenses and medical bills after the accident. Naturally, if the injuries sustained by the plaintiff are truly “serious,” it is reasonable to expect that there will be a sizeable claim for reimbursement for the plaintiff’s medical expenses. Plaintiffs’ attorneys are aware of this and as a result will typically try to inflate the figure that represents the plaintiff’s past medical expenses. An experienced plaintiffs’ attorney recognizes that the defendant’s insurance carrier may value their client’s claim based in part on the amount of the plaintiff’s incurred medical expenses, and, as such, they want to make that figure as large as possible to maximize their client’s potential settlement or recovery at trial.


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