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Florida Injury Attorney

Amazon Product Injuries: Who Is Liable For A Defective Amazon Product?


Defective products can often pose a serious risk of injury to consumers. Today, Amazon is one of the top stores that make products available to the public. Amazon acts as a marketplace for third-party distributors to make their goods available to customers. Manufacturers are generally liable for any injuries that their products cause. But what about marketplaces like Amazon?

In August, 2020, an appeals court in California reversed a 2019 trial court ruling that barred Amazon from being held liable for products produced by third-party manufacturers and retailers. The ruling made it possible to sue Amazon directly for products that cause injury.

Amazon hoverboards cause injury to customers 

One of the prime examples of Amazon product injuries is a notorious hoverboard that resulted in burn injuries due to battery explosion. In one instance, two Nashville children were home when they heard a noise downstairs. The noise came from an exploding hoverboard that was purchased as a Christmas gift in 2015 for the couple’s 14-year-old son. The exploding hoverboard caused a fire that trapped the children in their location. Their father had to rescue them, but in the process sustained severe burn injuries. The fire destroyed their $1 million home and injured both the 14-year-old boy and his father while they were attempting to escape the inferno.

While the manufacturer was also liable, the parents filed suit directly against Amazon. According to the lawsuit, Amazon was aware of the problem as several of their customers had reported similar occurrences on their website.

Bolger v. Amazon.com, LLC 

The lawsuit that led to the ruling holding Amazon liable for third-party products that cause injury was Bolger v. Amazon.com, LLC. In this case, the plaintiff purchased a replacement battery for her laptop. Bolger alleged that after several months, the battery exploded and burned her to the point that she needed to be hospitalized. She filed a lawsuit against both the manufacturer and Amazon under a theory of strict liability. Strict liability is a legal theory that allows customers to hold product manufacturers liable without proving negligence. The victim is entitled to hold the manufacturer liable even if they exercised proper care. A trial court initially ruled in favor of Amazon that they could not be held strictly liable because they did not manufacture the product. However, an appeals court ruled that Amazon could be held liable under a theory of strict liability even though Amazon was not the seller because they were a critical link in the chain of distribution. Amazon appealed the decision, but the California Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

Call an Amazon Product Injury Attorney Today 

The Florida personal injury attorneys at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert help Amazon customers recover damages after they are injured by a defective product. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin discussing your injuries right away.




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