A family from Bradford has taken legal advice to see if they are entitled to make a Costco product liability claim for injuries sustained in a property fire.
In November 2015, Vinh Hung Chiem and Thu Tram from Wyke near Bradford bought their two children a hoverboard from the Leeds branch of Costco as a gift for Christmas. On January 15 – while the toy was plugged into an electrical socket to charge its battery – the hoverboard burst into flames, setting light to the family home.
Fortunately a friend of the children – Jibril Faris (11) – saw the fire start and raised the alarm. Jibril, Tony (9) and Karen (8) escaped from the fire with minor burn injuries. The children – with Thu, who was also in the house at the time the fire started – were taken to hospital where they were treated for their injuries.
The Chiem family home was completely destroyed in the accident and – according to Thu – the children still suffer nightmares. “The kids could have been killed. They all believed they were going to die in the fire. Everything was ruined in the fire… it’s turned our lives upside down” Thu told BBC reporters.
The West Yorkshire Fire Service conducted an investigation into the cause of the fire and confirmed Jibril´s story that the fire was started by the hoverboard. A spokesperson for the Fire Service commented the likelihood was that lithium batteries in the hoverboard had overheated and exploded or ignited.
Now the family has taken legal advice to see if it is entitled to make a Costco product liability claim against the store at which the hoverboard was purchased. Thu said: “We thought we bought a reliable product from a trusted retailer and we want to know how something with so much potential to cause this type of devastation was sold to us.”
The family´s solicitor commented that the family would appear to have a Costco product liability claim under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 if it is proven that the hoverboard was faulty. A spokesperson for Costco UK said: “This is a terrible tragedy and we are looking into this matter but we have no comment at this time.”