Amazon responsible for defective products sold online

A major blow to the e-commerce giant Amazon was dealt by the California Court of Appeals which ruled that Amazon can be held liable in the state for defective products sold on its platform despite having fought for years to dismiss the lawsuits. product liability.

The case

The case was opened by an explosion in the face of a replacement battery for a laptop that a woman had bought from a seller on the Amazon marketplace and which caused third-degree burns. A spokesman for the web giant spoke out against the ruling, who told CNBC the court’s decision was taken incorrectly and contrary to the consolidated law in California and throughout the country according to which service providers are not responsible for the products of third parties who do not manufacture or sell. We will appeal.

The distribution chain

The company has several cases of liability for defective products underway in various states of the United States but that of the battery explosion was judged by the court to be attributable to Amazon because it was inserted in the distribution chain by storing the product in its warehouses, shipping it, receiving the payment, as well as establishing the terms of your relationship with the third party vendor and asking substantial fees on each purchase. A real problem for Amazon therefore for which sales derived from third parties represent about 60%. Disclaimer is generally asserted when the e-commerce seller acts as a simple meeting point between the actual seller and the customer, which does not apply to Amazon since, as pointed out by the court, it becomes part of the distribution chain (autonomous responsibility confirmed by the directive and – EU commerce).

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In Italy

A decision that of California that could also have repercussions in other jurisdictions. The Italian Consumer Code leaves the responsibility for defective products to the sole seller but there could be similar consequences if the concept of seller is expanded by extending it to the e-commerce platform. Responsibilities are also found in the fact that the company also guarantees the safety of the products sold on its platform as well as the reliance that is generated by its behavior on the end customer.


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