In the past, Amazon faced lawsuits over third-party but it did manage to come out unscathed. But now a federal appeals court in Philadelphia has decided that Amazon can be held liable for products sold by third-party vendors on its website. As per Reuters, this particular decision can lead to an onslaught of lawsuits against the giant e-commerce giant from buyers who will be delivered defective products from sellers using the platform.
By siding with the plaintiff, the appeals court a lower court’s decision over a case file by Heather Overdof, who was blinded when a retractable dog leash bought from Amazon recoiled and hit her face. None of these parties involved in the case can get in touch with the seller, the furry gang which has not been active since 2016.
David Wilk who is Oberdof’s Lawyer said that:
“Gratifying that the 3rd circuit agreed with their argument and recognized that the existing interpretation of product liability law in Pennsylvania was not addressing the realty, the dominance that Amazon has in the marketplace.”
Amazon is a site where most of the products are sold by independent businesses. In other words, it doesn’t have any first-party retail. In 2018, the site’s first-party sales were estimated at $117 billion which is a small amount when compared to the sales generated by third-parties. The amount was estimated at $160 billion. Amazon is known to play host to a large number of products that simply cannot stop a business from selling counterfeit products on its platform.
After this decision, we can expect to see a lot of lawsuits against the company. This is not only because of the decision passed by the Philadelphia appeals court but also because Amazon is not going to stop selling products from independent businesses in the future. After all, a large portion of the site’s sales is based on these third-party vendors and therefore, the site is not going to ban them at any cost. That said, Oberdof’s case still has to go back to the lower court to determine whether the leash that blinded her was truly defective or not.