Online shopping has exploded over the last decade, and the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a dramatic increase in consumer goods purchased through the internet. However, how certain are you that the product is delivered to your door is safe for you in your family? What happens if you purchase a defective product from Amazon?
This is a question that many people across the United States have had to ask, and the unfortunate reality is that Amazon has been able to escape liability in these cases in just about every instance. However, that may be changing.
When consumers purchase products from Amazon, they may not realize that they are actually buying a product from a third-party retailer. While this may not mean much to most consumers, this is a big deal if a product they purchase is defective and causes injuries.
In most cases, victims harmed by defective products are able to hold negligent manufacturers or companies liable for damages. However, this is often not the case with Amazon. The online retailing giant has long said that they are not responsible for flawed or defective items sold through their website. They claim that they are just a facilitator of transactions between consumers and other companies. Courts throughout the United States have long sided with Amazon in these cases.
Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that there were more than 4,000 banned, unsafe, and mislabeled products for sale on Amazon’s platform.
However, consumer laws in these cases may be changing. At the end of last year, a three-judge panel with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that Amazon could be held liable for defective products sold through their website. The case that they heard involved a malfunctioning retractable dog leash that struck a woman in her face and left her partially blind.
This case will still have to go in front of the full court, which will have the ability to reinstate, modify, or reverse the three-judge panel ruling. If this is indeed a shift in how courts look at online retailer liability, this could bring major changes to how Amazon and other companies regulate products on their website.
If you or somebody you love has been harmed due to a negligent product purchased on the Amazon platform, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Colucci, Colucci & Marcus, P.C., we have vast experience handling complex product liability cases. Our team is ready to investigate your case so we can secure full compensation for your claim, including the following: