E-scooters are strangely famous for many conflicting things at once. Supposedly, they will save our cities and destroy them, foster community and spark battles in the streets, make people healthier and injure them permanently.
Strangest may be the ability of these usually California products to seem hyper-local. The agreements accepted by users of the big three e-scooter companies each specify that any litigation or negotiation between you (the customer) and the scooter company must happen in the Golden State.
Long user contracts that few ever try to read
Few of us even skim the entire contract of one- or-two-click downloads, purchases or subscriptions, and it’s often difficult to remember even getting so much as an opportunity to see an agreement. Long user agreements for e-scooters may even be worse, since customers are often on an urban sidewalk in bright sunlight or the darkness of night, sometimes socializing and, unfortunately, possibly under the influence.
If you have read one of these contracts, might remember that Jump, Bird and Lime all require you to litigate or negotiate any disputes with the company in California.
Agreements requiring you to go west
According to an Austin, Texas, attorney trying to challenge these agreements, they first say you’re agreeing to assume responsibility for absolutely everything that happens on the scooter no matter who’s at fault. Also, they say you’ll need an attorney licensed to practice in California.
With many attorneys across the U.S. receiving multiple calls from people claiming injuries or other damage due to these little vehicles, the Austin attorney claims the companies stick to the agreement when he comes calling. He suspects it’s a calculated attempt to keep suits to a minimum by at least seeming maximized their cost and inconvenience.
It’s unclear if there’s any chance courts will find these lines in e-scooter contracts to be unenforceable and allow you to file suit wherever you happen to be.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s important to remember that qualified and dedicated California attorneys with extensive experience in personal injury and product liability are available to you, wherever you are. If companies do want to discourage you from seeking legal advice, restricting your claim to California’s system is an obstacle we’re ready to help you overcome.