Stephanie Torres (Full Name: Stephanie Villa Torres) Died, Alfonso Villa and Jefferson Jimenez Injured In Queens Fire Started By Electric Scooter Battery
QUEENS, NEW YORK (September 21, 2022) – An 8-year-old girl identified as Stephanie Torres has tragically died in a Queens fire that was started by an electric scooter battery.
New York City police officials are saying that the fire started around 7:35 a.m. on Saturday in a multi-family home. Stephanie Torres and two adults identified as Alfonso Villa and Jefferson Jimenez sustained serious injuries from smoke inhalation.
Both men were taken to the Jacobi Medical Center in order to receive treatment. Sadly, Stephanie Torres died due to smoke inhalation from the fire.
Queens firefighters are saying that the fire likely started due to lithium-ion batteries in an electric scooter. A full investigation into the Queens fire remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Queens Electric Scooter Fires
Lithium-ion batteries are used in nearly every type of electronic device. Problems with some of the batteries have led to them overheating, catching fire, and exploding. In 2021, e-bike batteries have caused over 55 fires in New York City alone. There are a number of reasons that a lithium-ion battery may catch fire.
- Manufacturing Defects
- Design Flaws
- Improper Usage
- Charger Issues
- Low-Quality Components
Depending on the facts of any case, the company that manufactured an e-scooter or its component parts could be liable for an accident. Companies that design e-scooters have a responsibility to make those products reasonably safe. When a scooter company fails to design products that are reasonably safe, this could form the basis of a product liability claim. There are a number of elements that a plaintiff must demonstrate in any product liability claim.
- The product was not reasonably safe due to a significant likelihood of harm;
- It was feasible for the product to have been designed in a safer way, and;
- The defect in question was the proximate cause of the injury a victim sustained. (Voss v. Black & Decker Mfg. Co., 59 N.Y.2d 102)
Property owners could also potentially be liable for a fire on their property that injures or kills someone. Property owners have a legal responsibility to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. when a property owner has actual or constructive notice about a dangerous condition on their property that could lead to a fire, they must take action to correct this dangerous condition. Victims of fires tend to suffer very serious and costly injuries including:
- Burn injuries
- Smoke inhalation
The family of any person that is killed in a fire may have legal recourse through a bodily injury claim. Any person that is injured may have legal recourse through a wrongful death claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. Sadly, property owners and scooter companies will often fight extremely hard to deny liability for any accident. A personal injury attorney can examine the unique facts of your case free of cost and get to the bottom of what caused an accident.
Investigating A Queens Electric Scooter Fire
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Stephanie Torres. It is our sincere hope that Alfonso Villa and Jefferson Jimenez will be able to make a full recovery. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to the NYPD.
Do you need more information about a Queens fire? Our team of consumer safety advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims get the information and resources that they are entitled to under the law. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.