Amazon is the largest online retailer in the United States, accounting for a whopping 44 percent of 2017’s e-commerce sales in the nation. An ever-increasing number of people ditch shopping malls and brick and mortar stores in favor of e-commerce sites such as Amazon.
It is convenient and affordable, which is why Amazon’s popularity in California and all across the U.S. has ballooned over the past few years. The ever-increasing popularity of online shopping has even caused many traditional stores and shopping malls across the country to close.
But it is not all that straightforward with e-commerce, as many questions regarding product liability remain unanswered. Only a Los Angeles product liability attorney from the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg can help you determine who should be held liable if you are injured by a product purchased on Amazon or any other e-commerce website.
It is not uncommon for consumers to get injured due to a defective or dangerous product sold via Amazon or any other online store. That is when the question “Can Amazon be held liable for my injuries caused by products purchased on its online store?” arises. And the answer is this: “It depends.”
If numerous product liability claims filed against Amazon over the past few years are any indication, it does not seem likely that Amazon can be held liable for any injuries caused by products sold on its website. The truth is: the company is way too good at shielding itself from liability.
Product liability cases against Amazon have shown time and time again that the company cannot be held to the same standard as brick and mortar stores like Walmart or Target. Judges have routinely compared Amazon to a newspaper classified ad section, which means the company cannot be sued for damages caused by defective products sold by third parties on its website.
Our experienced product liability attorney explains that Amazon’s role regarding products sold by manufacturers, sellers, merchants, and distributors on its e-commerce site is not that of a “seller,” but rather that of a newspaper classified ad section.
Instead of viewing Amazon as a seller or distributor, the courts in California and all across the U.S. treat the company as a middleman that connects sellers to consumers. Amazon has used the Communications Decency Act as one of its defenses against product liability claims because the law protects online stores such as Amazon from liability claims regarding products provided by third parties.
Although it has been almost impossible to hold Amazon liable for injuries caused by products sold on its e-commerce site so far, it does not mean that Amazon will never be held liable for defective products sold through its site. In fact, the Supreme Court has yet to decide on the subject of Amazon’s role in product liability cases.
Therefore, it may still be possible to hold Amazon accountable for the defective and dangerous products sold through its site, especially if the courts begin to treat the company as a seller of goods.
Given the uncertainty surrounding Amazon’s role in product liability cases, seeking compensation for injuries caused by defective products sold on Amazon without a Los Angeles product liability attorney is nearly impossible. Consult with our lawyers at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg to speak about your case. Call our offices at 310-997-0904 or fill out this contact form for a free case evaluation.