On August 13, the California Court of Appeal ruled that Amazon, like other traditional retailers, should be held responsible for damage caused by defective products sold through its e-commerce online market. The ruling overturned a previous ruling by the San Diego high court.
in addition to selling products on its own, Amazon also allows third-party sellers to sell products on its website. These sellers can store their products in Amazon’s warehouse or ship them directly to consumers.
the court of appeal found that Amazon played a key role in every process in which plaintiff Angela Bolger purchased a replacement laptop battery from lenoge technology HK Ltd, a third-party Amazon seller. Bolger claimed that when she put her laptop on her lap, the battery suddenly caught fire, causing severe burns to her arms, legs and feet.
the court of Appeal said: “no matter how we describe Amazon’s role, whether they are ‘retailers’,’ distributors’, or just ‘sales promoters’, they are the key to selling products to consumers.”
Amazon has faced a number of lawsuits to hold it responsible for damages caused by defective products sold by third-party sellers. Most courts have concluded that Amazon itself is not a “seller” according to state product liability laws, but there are a few decisions that go the other way, allowing consumers to sue Amazon.