California Appeals Court ruling came down against Amazon.com saying the Marketplace can held liable for damages caused by defective goods sold by them, including by third parties and this is seen as a major blow for the online retail giant.
Times of SanDiego reported, “A California state appeals court ruled Thursday that Amazon can be held strictly liable in California for defective products sold on its virtual marketplace through third-party vendors.”
CNBC Reported Friday, “A California appeals court’s decision could soon make it harder for Amazon to skirt responsibility for unsafe products sold on its platform.”
Amazon has several ongoing product liability cases in federal courts across the U.S. Until now, it has successfully warded off such cases in the past, claiming that its marketplace is only the conduit between buyers and sellers.
The ruling is a result of Angela Bolger who purchased a defective replacement laptop battery that caught fire and gave her third-degree burns. Boger, alleges she bought the laptop battery from a third-party seller, Lenoge Technology HK Ltd., on Amazon’s marketplace.
CNBC reported, “Amazon’s sprawling marketplace, which hosts millions of third-party sellers, now accounts for approximately 60% of the company’s e-commerce sales. While the marketplace has helped Amazon bring in record revenue, it has also proven to host counterfeit, unsafe and even expired goods. The company has previously said it invests hundreds of millions of dollars per year to ensure products sold are safe and compliant.”
Amazon has long maintained it’s only the conduit between buyers and sellers on its marketplace and that it’s not involved in the sourcing or distribution of products sold by third-party sellers, removing it from liability.
This ruling signals a potential shift in policy. Amazon may no longer be treated as being above the law because Amazon can now be held liable like other traditional retailers for injuries from defective products.