Amazon Liable for Third-Party Sellers’ Products, Says Federal Appeals Court

Amazon isn’t responsible for what its third-party vendors sell, but that could be changing. A federal appeals court has ruled that the company could be held liable for defective goods sold by third-party vendors.

The decision stems from a case involving a dog leash that retracted unexpectedly and blinded its buyer. Amazon critics are hoping the ruling will result in fewer counterfeits and dangerous items.

“Amazon fails to account for the fact that under the Agreement, third-party vendors can communicate with the customers only through Amazon,” the ruling states. “This enables third-party vendors to conceal themselves from the customer, leaving customers injured by defective products with no direct recourse to the third-party vendor.”

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