Skip to main content

This Minnesota family's hoverboard started on fire – now they're suing

A Minnesota family blames the company that sold them a hoverboard for the house fire that killed their four dogs.

That hoverboard you sold us burned our house and killed our dogs.

That's the crux of the lawsuit a central Minnesota family filed this week against a New York company.

Kris and Joel Paffrath of Spicer lost four dogs in the July house fire that investigators say was caused by a hoverboard.

The Paffraths say the board was plugged in and charging when it caught fire in their kitchen. Their lawsuit against Trifecta Deals says the company's website made no mention of the fire hazard associated with hoverboards.

The lawsuit claims Trifecta Deals was negligent for selling the Paffraths a board with a defective design and says the company broke consumer fraud laws by misrepresenting the safety of the board.

A court document says Trifecta denies the allegation. They have 20 days to respond to the lawsuit. The company has not answered an email from GoMN.

What's the problem with hoverboards?

Half a million hoverboards were recalled in July when the Consumer Product Safety Commission called them unsafe. Their lithium-ion battery packs can overheat, which sometimes causes them to catch fire or explode, the commission says.

The commission said then that it had investigated more than 60 hoverboard fires. Some retailers – including Target and Amazon – stopped selling them. Most airlines stopped letting people bring them on flights.

Some of the problem may have been deception by overseas manufacturers, though.

A lot of hoverboards seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection included counterfeit batteries, which are made to look like they come from a licensed supplier, but are often knock-offs from China that don't pass any safety standard.

Hoverboard makers are also working on making them safer. CNET wrote this month that the boards are "starting to look safe compared to phones."

Trifecta Deals now has a video on their Facebook page called "Hoverboard Troubleshooting 101." It includes instructions to limit the time that batteries are charged to no more than an hour and a half.

Next Up

2 (3)

Focus is on family fitness at this year’s Twin Cities Marathon

Don’t miss out on the running, racing and all the fun things to do for the whole family

Screen Shot 2022-08-18 at 2.29.47 PM

Family's tributes to mother killed by partner in St. Paul murder-suicide

The 30-year-old was killed by her partner, who then killed himself.


Eagan man killed after crashing into traffic signal

The 30-year-old crashed into a traffic light early Wednesday morning.

Melvin Carter

What's in Mayor Melvin Carter's budget proposal?

Here's what the St. Paul mayor is putting his focus on for the upcoming year.

WCCO building

Digital, streaming employees at WCCO-TV vote to unionize

The 15 employees will join on-air talent and producers as members of the SAG-AFTRA union.


Police arrest man suspected of sexual assault, weapons threat in Eagan

The investigation prompted a SWAT response in an Eagan neighborhood on Tuesday.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, August 16

The latest reporting period averaged just under 1,300 new cases per day.


Jason and Carly Zucker sell Edina home for $4.18M

The property was bought in 2020, months after Jason Zucker was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Legacy Lot Random (1 of 6)

Gallery: Luxury living is par for the course here

Cragun’s Golf Resort Communities Offer Stunning Views Along with Resort-Style Living


A hoverboard is being blamed for a house fire that killed 4 dogs

A hoverboard is being blamed for causing a house fire that injured a woman and killed four dogs.

Samsung says even the replacement Note 7s need to stop being used now

If you you're reading this on a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – stop and shut that thing off like, right now.

Map Kong was shot and killed by police – now his family is suing

The lawsuit argues officers essentially escalated the situation. A lawyer for the officers say that's untrue.

Again? Polaris is recalling 19,200 more vehicles due to fire hazards

In the past year, Polaris has recalled nearly 175,000 vehicles due to fire risks.

Heard about 'slack fill'? It's why the makers of Raisinets are getting sued

The lawsuit says consumers are tricked into thinking the box is full