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PA Supreme Court to Hear Amazon Products Liability Case

Posted on July 13, 2020

As we reported in a blog last year, defective products have been linked to third-party vendors on Amazon.com. Now, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is set to hear a case to determine whether Amazon is liable for injuries resulting from these products.

The case, Oberdorf v. Amazon.com, involves a woman who was injured when a dog leash broke and hit her in the face. At issue is whether Amazon is the seller and thus responsible, or if the third-party vendor is at fault. The case is complicated by the fact that no one, including Amazon, can locate the vendor, “The Furry Gang.”

Initially, the case was heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit with a split court that ruled 2 to 1 to hold Amazon liable. However, the Third Circuit, on rehearing the case, opted to send it to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for a decision. Amazon argued that it cannot be held liable. However, Senior Judge Jane Richards Roth of the Third Circuit noted that Amazon could opt to take steps to prevent listings of defective products. The outcome of this case could affect other marketplaces, including eBay, Etsy, Walmart Marketplace, and more.

If you have been injured by a defective product and you are unsure of your legal rights, it may help to speak to an experienced Pennsylvania product liability attorney. You are welcome to contact us anytime.