Court Holds Amazon Liable for Products of Other Vendors Sold on Its Site

By | July 8, 2019

  • July 8, 2019 at 11:47 am
    KP says:
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    Good call

  • July 8, 2019 at 1:44 pm
    John Sterling says:
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    So even though Amazon had nothing to do with the product manufacture or its advertising, it was still held liable??? Amazon is a purchasing conduit not a manufacturer. It appears the Court made up law in order to satisfy the injured plaintiff since the actual manufacturer could not be brought in to litigate. Hopefully Amazon will appeal and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania will correctly apply the law as intended by the legislature.

    • July 8, 2019 at 7:29 pm
      Craig Cornell says:
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      Amazon is only being held liable if they can’t identify the manufacturer. No one should be able to sell defective products on Amazon’s website and then disappear when their products hurt someone.

      This is eminently fair; if Amazon can help the court find the manufacturer, then Amazon has participated in allowing the manufacturer to avoid responsibility.

      • July 11, 2019 at 9:01 am
        ??? says:
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        In the next amazon article on IJ they reference:

        In a 2-1 decision released last week, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said Amazon can be classified as a seller in part because it doesn’t allow customers to communicate directly with third-party vendors.

      • July 11, 2019 at 10:56 am
        Jax Agent says:
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        The same is true if you are the seller of a product that is manufactured in another country. Legally you (the seller) are deemed to be the ‘manufacturer of record’ here in the States.
        Amazon should have contracts with their sellers requiring insurance and indemnification wording. I don’t have a clue how Amazon goes about approving someone to sell thru their website, but surely they must have some controls ?

  • July 8, 2019 at 2:03 pm
    deep pockets says:
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    are the reason

  • July 8, 2019 at 2:08 pm
    Lars says:
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    Liberals and Dems say big corps are the problem and conservatives give them everything, then when their liable for something the liberal courts give them a pass and the conservative court hand them their rear ends. Hummmmm

    • July 11, 2019 at 11:13 am
      ??? says:
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      This was actually a 2-1 decision where it was Dem & Republican v Republican.. Just and FYI

  • July 8, 2019 at 3:16 pm
    Augustine says:
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    Definitely. I buy a lot of stuff on Amazon, but their inventory is flooded with cheap, knock-offs and “pirated” merchandise. They absolutely should be held accountable for the stuff sold on their website because there is a degree of negligence on their part. I purchased a “brand” hoodie from their website, and when it arrived it was a obviously a fake, knock-off. My wife has purchased some very expensive shampoo from their website which also turned out to be a knock-off. When you start getting into items and products that–if defective–could cause serious harm to someone, then I think there is some real negligence on Amazon’s part. This could be a very big deal.

  • July 8, 2019 at 7:44 pm
    Dominic O'Connell says:
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    So they should be liable, they make a lot of money from selling (sometimes) cheap, inferior products. If they care so little about the end user experience not to undertake reasonable due diligence assessments of the Sellers who use their platform prior to giving access then that same level of care ought to be reciprocated.

    It is an easy solution for Amazon, do the due diligence assessment.

  • July 9, 2019 at 11:35 am
    Rosenblatt says:
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    Now let’s hold Kickstarter liable if a company takes the money and literally runs away never to be seen from or heard of again. At the very least, donors should be able to get a refund if the company is simply scamming people using Kickstarter’s services. I understand product development can take time and people are restless, but I’ve been scammed twice by people who immediately remove all traces of themselves and their business online, and KS just tells people to go fly a kite and it’s not their problem. Stop condoning scammers!!!

    • July 10, 2019 at 11:36 am
      Augustine says:
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      I am assuming that your comment is facetious. Those two are not comparable. Kickstarter is a platform for startups to raise money–Kickstarter is itself not a startup and is not raising money for its business ventures on their platform. Amazon is a merchant that sells merchandise but also is responsible for “vetting” and allowing other merchants to sell wares on their site through third party agreements. First off, Amazon is fully responsible for whomever it allows to sell merchandize on Amazon’s website. Secondly, if they are allowing merchants to sell, cheap, pirated or otherwise contraband merchandise on their website, then they have failed to properly do explicitly what they have warranted to do. To compound matters, if they are not properly giving consumers avenues to pursue products liability/product negligence then that is completely on them. Additionally, Amazon should be performing due diligence on its vendors maintaining general liability insurance for these types of issues.

  • July 10, 2019 at 3:31 pm
    jsmooth says:
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    It seems like Amazon would benefit tremendously by at least making sure they had someone to contact at the companies selling merchandise on their website. My wife and I purchased nearly everything online at one time, but that has changed in the last year or so. The quality of the merchandise has slowly gone down. Amazon may have become so large they aren’t vetting their sellers anymore, or at least not the same as they did originally. We have never had an issue having anything returned, but in the past 12 months, we have returned more than should be expected. A bookshelf missing pieces, a crock-pot set missing the utensils it was supposed to come with and mountain bikes sent in the wrong color and we were told it was their “policy” to send another color if the color requested was sold out or not available. What? lol We’ve had issues with these 3rd party sellers not sending what was advertised as well, especially last year at Christmas. Unfortunately, we were left with absolutely no one to speak with outside of Amazon. If they are going to allow these people to sell on their platform, they at least need to make sure they are a real business, insured and legal. That isn’t asking too much.

    • July 11, 2019 at 8:51 am
      Augustine says:
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      Ditto! We have had exactly the same experience. I tend to try and limit my Amazon purchases to things such books, batteries, household goods etc. I won’t even buy clothes on Amazon anymore. I got really burned on a vendor that was labelled “Amazon Choice” that was actually a third party selling counterfeit clothes. My original assumption on “Amazon Choice” was that the goods were coming from Amazon directly–I was very wrong. Caveat Emptor.

    • July 11, 2019 at 11:01 am
      Jax Agent says:
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      The fact that you and I can choose to or not to do business with Amazon will help drive them to police the vendors it allows to sell under their banner. If ‘we’ return enough defective goods and quit spending our money at Amazon, they will make changes. That would take a lot of “we’s” but most consumers will react the same way that you and I do.



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