The California Court of Appeal’s Fourth Appellate District ruled that Amazon can be held strictly liable for injuries caused by defective products sold by third-party vendors through its online marketplace. The decision held Amazon can be liable for a defective laptop battery that exploded, burning the plaintiff. The decision is the “first of its kind in the nation and the only published ruling holding Amazon liable in this situation,” according to a press release.
The Defendant, a battery seller, Lenoge Technology (HK) Ltd., was participating in Amazon’s “fulfilled by Amazon” program. Sellers opting into the program ship their products to Amazon warehouses, and Amazon then ships the product to the buyer. Amazon controls the packaging for shipment. Customers who return products to sellers participating in the program return it to Amazon, rather than the seller. Sellers in the program pay extra fees for storage and fulfillment.
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