Many of us do the majority of our shopping online. In the time of coronavirus, this is even more common! However, sometimes the legal implications while buying and selling items online are less clear than traditional transactions in a store. 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 bought her dog a collar from a third party seller on Amazon. When she put the collar on her dog and began walking the dog outside, that collar broke off when her dog pulled away from her. As a result of the broken collar, the dog’s retractable leash then hit the owner in the eye, which permanently blinded her. The victim sought legal action due to the defective nature of the collar and her subsequent permanent injury. During 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. 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/