Millions of people use Amazon every day to order a variety of products. It provides a convenient service with a wide selection and quick shipping. However, not all of the products found on Amazon are safe for consumers. If a consumer purchases an unsafe, defective product from Amazon, can Amazon be held liable for any injuries? The answer is complicated.
In most product liability situations, both the manufacturer and the retailer of a product can be held liable for damages caused by a defective product. If Amazon is considered a retailer, then it should be liable for the defective products it sells. There have been hundreds of lawsuits brought against Amazon for product liability, and Amazon consistently argues that it is not a retailer and, therefore, should not be held liable. Nearly 60% of the products sold on Amazon are coming from third parties. Amazon asserts that it is merely a platform that connects the buyer and seller of a product. It maintains that it is merely an intermediary and not a retailer.
This façade is beginning to crumble. Recently, there have been a number of court rulings finding that Amazon should be held liable for the defective products sold by third parties on their site. When a shopper buys a product from a third party through Amazon’s site, Amazon keeps 15% of the sale. Courts have recently started applying the same rules they do to brick and mortar retailers that can be held liable for the defective products they sell. Courts note that Amazon is part of the distribution chain of a product and has the power to exert influence on product safety. Amazon has control over the products, even shipping them in their own packaging. It will likely become much harder in the future for Amazon to dodge liability.
In addition to selling products from third parties, Amazon also has its own line of products known as AmazonBasics. AmazonBasics products range anywhere from microwaves to sweatshirts. Many of these products have been reported as dangerous. There have been cellphone cords and microwaves that have started fires and other incidents. Because Amazon is responsible for the safety of its own products, it should be held liable for any injuries resulting from defects in AmazonBasics products.
Contact an Experienced Product Liability Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a defective product you purchased on Amazon, you should consult with an experienced product liability attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have been helping the victims of defective products for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.