Amazon Strictly Liable For Dangerous Product – Product Liability


Buffalo product liability attorney Robert Friedman discusses Amazon’s liability for selling a dangerous battery on their online marketplace.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”″][vc_column_text]Good Morning. I am Bob Friedman, Attorney with Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC. Welcome to the August  25th,2020 edition of the Legal Survival Channel: Today’s Legal News You Can Use.

If you are a frequent Amazon shopper, you most likely have purchased products from their third-party sellers. What happens if you are injured by one of these products? Can you sue Amazon? According to a recent case from the California Court of Appeals, Fourth Appellate District, the answer is, “Yes”. A recent court case determined that Amazon can be held strictly liable for injuries caused by defective products sold by third-party vendors through its online marketplace.

The court ruled that Amazon can be held strictly liable for a defective laptop battery, sold through a third-party vendor, that exploded, caught fire, and gave the plaintiff third degree burns. This  August 13th decision is the first of its kind in the U.S. and the only published ruling holding Amazon liable in such a situation.

The battery seller, Lenoge Technology (HK) Ltd., was participating in Amazon’s “fulfilled by Amazon” program. Sellers opting into the program ship their products to Amazon warehouses, but Amazon ships the product to the buyer and retains full control of the packaging.  Customers returns are also handled through Amazon. Sellers in this program pay extra fees for storage and fulfillment.

The Court noted that Amazon set the terms of its relationship with Lenoge, controlled the conditions of Lenoge’s offer for sale on Amazon, limited Lenoge’s access to Amazon’s customer information, forced Lenoge to communicate with customers through Amazon, and demanded indemnification as well as substantial fees on each purchase.

According to the court: “Whatever term was used to describe Amazon’s role, be it ‘retailer,’ ‘distributor’ or merely ‘facilitator,’ Amazon was pivotal in bringing the product to the consumer.”

The court also explained that  Amazon is not protected by the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which shields websites from liability for publishing third-party content. The Act does not apply because the plaintiff’s strict liability claims depend on Amazon’s own activities, not its status as a speaker or publisher of content provided by Lenoge for its product listing.

Lenoge used the name “E-Lifeon the Amazon website. The plaintiff had also sued Lenoge and obtained a default judgment against them.

If you are injured by a dangerous product, contact the products liability attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel” color=”danger” link=”|||”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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