In the age of online shopping, sometimes the legal implications are less clear when you have an issue with a product purchased via the internet. Recently, a Pennsylvania woman who was injured by a product she bought online may be changing the way that courts view defective products that were purchased online.
According to a local news article, a woman purchased a dog collar from a third party seller on Amazon. When she put the collar on her dog and began walking the dog outside, the collar broke when her dog lunged forward. The collar breaking caused the dog's retractable leash to hit the owner in the eye, permanently blinding her. The victim sought legal action due to the defective nature of the collar and her subsequent permanent injury. In this process, a PA appeals court determined that Amazon could be held liable for selling the product, even though they stated that the website was merely serving as a way to connect potential buyers and third party sellers. This decision appears to be one of the first of its kind, and is the opposite of other recent rulings from other court battles. The PA judge determined that, since Amazon serves as the sole way for customers and third party sellers to contact each other, it allows these sellers to remain concealed from the customer with no immediate recourse in the case of injury. As such, Amazon could be held liable for selling the product.
At our law office, we always recommend researching any products before you buy them. It is also important to know your product's warranty and guarantees! Additionally, if you have been injured by a defective product, you do have legal rights. Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving Blair and the seven surrounding counties in central Pennsylvania. He takes cases for product liability. For more information on his Altoona, PA area firm, please call his office at 814-946-4100 to set up a free initial consultation.
Original article may be found here: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/07/08/courts-grapple-with-amazons-responsibility-for-dangerous-products/