The ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the United States has significantly altered the way most of us live our daily lives. As non-essential businesses shut down in an effort to slow the spread of the disease, many people are shifting to online shopping. However, what happens if you purchase a defective product from an online retailer that ends up causing harm to you or a loved one? At the Law Office of Julie Johnson, our Dallas product liability attorneys want to discuss who can be held liable if a defective product purchased online causes an injury or an illness.
It should come as no surprise that there are many defective products on the market. Even if you do not regularly pay attention to the news, you have likely seen major recalls take place over the last year related to defective auto parts, pharmaceuticals, toys, and more. As more and more of our shopping shifts to online retailers due to COVID-19, it would be naive to assume that defective products will not be shipped right to our front door.
However, major online retailers like Amazon have largely escaped liability for faulty products purchased on their website. Under Amazon’s current policy, they claim no responsibility for defective products sold by third-party retailers on their website. Amazon argues that they are simply the facilitators of a transaction, not manufacturers. To be sure, other major online retailers also have the same policy.
This can make it incredibly difficult for consumers harmed by products purchased online. Courts in the United States have generally agreed with Amazon’s reasoning and left little room for those harmed by faulty products to recover compensation for damages. However, that changed last year when a three-judge panel with the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit said that Amazon could be held liable as sellers of products sold by third-party vendors.
The full court will make a ruling later this year, so this is not yet settled. However, other courts around this country have begun to say that Amazon and other major retailers should be held accountable for defective products sold on their websites. If these rulings stand, online retailers will be forced to better ensure the safety of products that they sell. It will also allow those harmed by products purchased online to recover compensation.
Whether you are a regular online shopper or new to purchasing products from online retailers, you should never have to worry about being harmed by something you purchase. At the Law Office of Julie Johnson, we are here to help when you need a Dallas product liability attorney. We will investigate your case to secure any compensation you are entitled to, which can include: