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Appellate Court Strips Amazon’s Ostensible Protection from Liability Over Defective Third-Party Products

Appellate Court Rules Amazon can be Held Liable for Defective Third-Party Products

Credit: SiliconANGLE

A California appeals court decides against Amazon’s claim that the company is shielded from liability over defective third-party products…

A state appellate court in California has ruled Amazon can be held liable for damages and injuries caused by faulty merchandise sold through its third-party marketplace. This, after a San Diego Superior Court ruled in Amazon’s favor over a lawsuit filed by Angela Bolger, who suffered third-degree burns on her arms and legs after a laptop battery burst into flames.

Appellate Court Rules Amazon can be Held Liable for Defective Third-Party Products

However, the appeals court disagreed with the lower court’s decision. The appellate court said Amazon wasn’t merely acting as a service provider. Rather, that the defendant wasn’t entitled to protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the United States Code:

“Whatever term we use to describe Amazon’s role, be it ‘retailer,’ ‘distributor,’ or merely ‘facilitator,’ it was pivotal in bringing the product here to the consumer. Under established principles of strict liability, Amazon should be held liable if a product sold through its website turns out to be defective.”

Amazon has long struggled with issues regarding third-party sellers. Not the least of which is the e-commerce’s fight against counterfeit goods

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