Is Amazon responsible for defective products and injuries?

Written on behalf of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

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Strolling through malls is no longer quite as popular as scrolling through endless product pages online. Many California consumers regularly order goods online, and one retailer stands out as one of the most popular — Amazon. But just because Amazon is popular does not mean that the products on its platform are safe. Defective products can seriously injure unsuspecting consumers, leaving some with lifelong brain injuries or trauma. So who can a victim hold responsible for his or her injuries?

It has been difficult to hold Amazon responsible for defective products in the past. The online mega retailer insists that it is just a middle man that facilitates sales between buyers and sellers. Judges used to be quick to agree with this notion, but more recently courts seem to be rethinking this position. There have been several rulings in which courts decided that Amazon is indeed liable for injuries caused by defective and dangerous products.

There are two other parties that injury victims may also want to consider when trying to recover compensation. Product manufacturers may be liable if they produce faulty, defective or otherwise dangerous products. Third-party sellers on Amazon’s Marketplace could also be liable for selling those defective products.

California consumers should be able to purchase products with confidence that they work as advertised and are safe to use. Unfortunately, manufacturers, retailers and even third-party sellers may prioritize their own profits over the safety of their customers. When those defective products malfunction and cause serious harm, a victim can choose to hold companies responsible and pursue compensation for his or her injuries by filing a product liability suit.

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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