Can Someone Sue Amazon for Selling Harmful Products from Third-Party Vendors?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
This issue has been up for debate for some time now. On more than one occasion a consumer injured by a product they purchased via Amazon has attempted to sue the popular online distributor for their damages. While early lawsuits over this issue were unsuccessful, in 2019 a federal appeals court ruled that Amazon could be held liable as a seller of products from third-party vendors, opening up the popular online retailer to a slew of liability. This liability exists in part because of Amazon’s design, which allows third-party vendors to remain inaccessible to customers.
Amazon has adjusted to this new liability by adding to costs for its sellers in order to protect themselves in the case of future lawsuits. At the same, this has made smaller companies that do business via Amazon more likely to find themselves involved in a lawsuit with an industry giant like Amazon as their co-defendant.
Store owners and distributors may both be liable when someone is injured by one of their products, including those purchased through Amazon.
Due to the complexity of these cases and the many parties involved, it’s a good idea to contact a product liability attorney if you or a loved one were injured by any kind of product, especially one purchased on Amazon. It’s important to note that larger distributors and companies generally have access to their own teams of legal support, and are already prepared for a lawsuit to come their way. A product liability attorney can advise you on how to file your claim and help you gather evidence, preparing to present your case in a manner as effective as possible to a jury.
Do not throw away the product that caused your injury.
One of the top pieces of advice offered by product liability attorneys is to preserve the product that caused your injury, in addition to any packaging or instructions that came with it. All of this information will help an attorney determine if your case resulted from a product defect or user error. If you have already turned in the product to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC), you can ask to have the product and its accompanying material returned to you. It’s also a good idea to seek medical attention, even if your injury seems minor at first, as this will ensure that an official record exists to prove that an injury occurred. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the product, any property damaged by the product, as well as pictures of the injury caused by the product. All of this information serves as evidence that could be vital to building a successful product liability claim against any company, including Amazon.
Most product liability attorneys do not charge unless they win your case.
If finances are a concern that would otherwise prevent you from hiring an experienced product liability attorney to represent your case, it may help to note that the majority of these attorneys work on contingency. This means that an attorney does not expect to be paid for their work unless and until a client’s case, at which point they would receive an agreed upon percentage of the winnings. Even the consultations are free, so if you or a loved one were injured by a product on Amazon, don’t wait to seek legal counsel.