Amazon is liable for defective third-party products, Californian court rules
On August 13, the California court of appeal ruled that Amazon can be held accountable for selling of defective products through its portal, even though they are sold by third party. The suit filed against Amazon can now make it harder for it to evade the obligation of selling damaged products through its marketplace.
An Amazon customer named, Angela Bolger from San Diego claimed she bought the laptop battery from a third party seller named Lenoge Technology HK Ltd. On Amazon’s platform, but several months after it arrived, the battery exploded giving Angela severe burns.
Bolger sued Amazon, for distributing defective products to which Amazon successfully argued that the company can’t be held liable for the explosion of the battery as it didn’t manufacture or distribute the same but only provided HK Ltd with its marketplace.
The court released the statement that no matter Amazon produced it or not, but played a significant role in chain of distribution by providing the faulty battery a platform, drawing Bolger to Amazon’s website, accepting payments and shipping the product in Amazon packaging. Also charging commission on each of its product and coming in terms of business with Lenoge, allowing it to contact with customers under Amazon’s tag.
“Amazon is a direct link in the chain of distribution, acting as a powerful intermediary between the third-party seller and the consumer.” “Bolger’s claims are based on Amazon’s role in the chain of production and distribution of an allegedly defective product.” Justice Patricia Guerrero said in her ruling.
Strict principles set some legitimate standard that hold people accountable for the damages and injuries caused by their actions or products, even there was no bad interest at heart.
“No matter what we call Amazon a distributer, a retailer or just a facilitator Amazon is the bridge through which the damaged laptop battery reached consumer and put her life at stake” stated court.
“Consumers across the nation will feel the impact of this,” said, Bolger’s attorney Jeremy Robinson.
To which an Amazon spokesperson released a statement on Friday: “The court’s decision was wrongly decided and is contrary to well-established law in California and around the country that service providers are not liable for third party products they do not make or sell. We will appeal this decision.”
Amazon is a scattered and grown marketplace, and is a face for millions of third party sellers. The company stated that every year it invests hundreds of millions of dollars in ensuring that products sold are safe and secure. While the market aided Amazon in gaining revenue and building goodwill, it traded forged, damaged and expired products.
The court said “Amazon also can’t be shielded from liability through Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law from the 1990s that protects online platforms from being held responsible for content their users post on their sites.”
Amazon must be held liable for the defective product sold under its name that left a customer severely wounded. The company unlike in previous cases should take responsibility now and must not get away by claiming that it is a mere service provider.