Amazon appeals product liability ruling to CA Supreme Court, citing ‘potentially vast blast radius’

Oct 20, 2020 | News

Amazon is asking the California Supreme Court to review an appeals court ruling in a landmark product liability case, seeking to avoid a precedent that would leave the tech giant open to legal claims over defective products sold by third parties through its online marketplace.

The company’s petition for review, filed Tuesday, argues that the appeals court took an “unprecedented leap” when it found that Amazon was not shielded from liability for a replacement laptop battery that allegedly exploded several months after purchase, causing severe injuries to the plaintiff in the suit, Angela Bolger.

“This Court has never extended strict liability to an entity that provides a forum or service used by others to sell their own products,” lawyers for Amazon write in the petition. “Yet the Fourth District Court of Appeal did both in an unprecedented opinion holding that, by providing a website where a third party sold its own product, Amazon is strictly liable for defects in that product.”

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