Can Amazon Be Held Liable For Defective Third-Party Products?
Amazon is now one of the largest vendors in the world. It is home to more than 350 million individual products. What happens when someone is injured or killed due to a defective product sold over Amazon’s website? Can Amazon be held liable for these injuries?
Initially, Amazon had argued that it was not liable for these injuries. Instead, the manufacturer of the product was liable. Amazon was just a marketplace for these vendors to sell their products. Amazon wanted to shift liability from itself to these third-party vendors. Amazon managed to win a number of these lawsuits on those grounds. However, a recent lawsuit decided in California may indicate that the tide is about to shift against Amazon.
The case against Amazon
A recent lawsuit decided in California may indicate that the tide is about to shift against Amazon. Several other lawsuits filed in different states also indicate that Amazon has a duty of care to its customers. Initially, Amazon wanted to claim that it didn’t have a duty of care to vet potentially dangerous products.
The lawsuit that tipped the scales against Amazon involved a defective computer battery. The battery exploded while the computer was in use causing third-degree burns to the defendant. The court ruled that regardless of who manufactured the product, Amazon was pivotal in bringing the product to the customer. It, therefore, had a duty of care to ensure that the products were safe for use.
Many of the products sold over Amazon come from vendors that have no presence in the United States. In one case, a Wisconsin woman bought a bathtub faucet adapter for home. The faucet adapter malfunctioned resulting in flooding and serious property damage. While the Chinese manufacturer of this product could be named in a lawsuit, the company had no presence in the United States and therefore, the company could not be forced to pay up. The lawsuit was filed by the homeowner’s insurer, State Farm.
State Farm paid the claim but wanted to hold Amazon directly liable under our country’s strict liability rules of product liability. In this case, the court determined that Amazon played a pivotal role in bringing the defective product into the stream of commerce. The Wisconsin court ruled that Amazon could be held strictly liable because it played more than a peripheral role in selling the product.
Today, lawsuits against Amazon over product liability will be heard by courts. If you have been injured due to a defective Amazon product, the Florida personal injury lawyers at Halpern, Santos & Pinkert can help you recover damages related to your injuries. Amazon makes billions each year by making potentially defective products available to customers. Injured parties should be able to recover damages related to their injuries.
Talk to a Florida Amazon Product Liability Lawyer Today
Halpern, Santos & Pinkert can help you file a lawsuit related to injuries that you suffered due to a defective Amazon product. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.