Amazon can be held liable for faulty goods, court rules

Published by CNBC.COM

Summary generated on August 13, 2020

    A California appeals court's decision could soon make it harder for Amazon to skirt responsibility for unsafe products sold on its platform.

    On Thursday, the California Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled that Amazon can be held liable for damages caused by a defective replacement laptop battery that caught fire and gave a woman third-degree burns.

    The ruling deals a major blow to Amazon, which has for years successfully fought off lawsuits that try to place liability on the company for faulty products sold through its site that cause injury and property damage.

    Amazon has long maintained it's only the conduit between buyers and sellers on its marketplace and that it's not involved in the sourcing or distribution of products sold by third-party sellers, removing it from liability.

    It's been a successful defense for Amazon in the past, including in a 2018 case concerning the purchase of a faulty hoverboard that exploded and burned down an Amazon shopper's house in Tennessee.