Back in early July, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower courts ruling on a case against Amazon. This decision means that online marketplaces acting as “seller,” can be liable for defective products sold on their marketplace. Even if it’s a 3rd party seller, Amazon may be held liable. This is unsettling news for online marketplaces everywhere. Sites like eBay or Facebook can be exposed to lawsuits because sellers utilizing the platform may be selling defective products. The case started when a purchaser of a defective dog leash sued Amazon under strict product liability and negligence theories. While the Pennsylvania court that originally herds the case did not define Amazon as a “seller” under state law, the 3rd Circuit remanded this and found Amazon was indeed a seller.
How Is Amazon Liable?
Since the product was actually sold to the consumer by a third party, how is amazon the one responsible? To answer this, we need to take a look at how the company conducts business. When working with 3rd party vendors, Amazon limits the ability of vendors to communicate with consumers. So much so, that vendors could easily conceal themselves from their customers. Intended or not, it can be difficult to tell where your product actually came from. The court ruled that Amazon is responsible, because “(Amazon) is fully capable, in its sole discretion, of removing unsafe products from its website.” This is because of the agreements they have with their vendors. At the end of the day, Amazon has the power to remove defective products and should know what products are defective due to its ability to directly communicate with the consumer.
Harmed by a Sellers Negligence?
If you have been injured due to a manufacturer or seller’s negligence, you need an experienced attorney to fight for you. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Villarreal and Begum have experience battling these big manufacturers. If you have been injured due to a malfunctioning product, call the Texas Law Guns at our Office located in San Antonio or contact us online. The consultation is always free.