|Tue May 28 2019 00:09:34|
Federal Judge Finds Amazon Model Troubling
By: Ina Steiner
In reviewing a lawsuit involving an allegedly defective headlamp purchased from a third-party seller on Amazon, we were struck by the statements made by a Federal Circuit judge in her concurring opinion.
"By design, Amazon's business model cuts out the middlemen between manufacturers and consumers, reducing the friction that might keep foreign (or otherwise judgment-proof) manufacturers from putting dangerous products on the market," wrote Circuit Judge Diana Gribbon Motz.
Even more remarkable than indicating Amazon's model increases the chances that dangerous products could be sold (perhaps even flourish) on its marketplace, the judge went further, seeming to suggest that states should update their laws to put an end to what is in effect Amazon's loophole when it comes to product liability.
The case involved a product purchased on Amazon.com from a China-based seller who was using Fulfillment By Amazon - the headlamp allegedly played a role in a fire that burned down a couple's home. Amazon was found not liable - see details in EcommerceBytes Newsflash
Should states change their laws to keep up with these "uniquely modern challenges," as the judge called them?
And should Amazon continue to proactively encourage foreign sellers to list through FBA without making them subject to the same kind of judgement US sellers would face in the case of property damage, injury, or death?