Amazon’s Liability in Florida Defective Product Lawsuits

When someone suffers an injury because of a defective product, they may be able to recover damages under Florida’s product liability laws. Product liability lawsuits are claims brought against a manufacturer or seller for putting a defective product into the stream of commerce. In Florida, most product liability claims stem from design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects. The majority of these cases encompass the doctrine of strict liability. Although there are many similarities between ordinary negligence clams and strict liability, the difference is critical. Lawsuits involving strict liability claims do not typically require that the plaintiff provide proof of the defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care. Instead, liability is imposed based on the defendant’s capacity as a manufacturer, retailer, or seller.

Issues often arise when the defendant is an intermediary or sells products from a third-party, such as is the case with Amazon. Historically, Amazon has avoided liability by maintaining its position as a mere conduit between buyers and sellers. The major online marketplace has relied on the Communications Decency Act, which provides legal protections for online entities for content users post on their platforms. However, courts across the United States have started to examine whether this broad-ranging protection is appropriate.

In fact, a state appellate court recently issued a noteworthy opinion in a product liability lawsuit against Amazon. In that case, the plaintiff purchased a computer battery on Amazon, by a seller using a fictitious name on the website. Amazon charged the plaintiff, acquired the battery from one of their warehouses, prepared it for shipment in Amazon packaging, and mailed it to the plaintiff. The plaintiff suffered severe burns when the battery exploded a few months later.

The woman sued Amazon and several other defendants, arguing that, amongst other issues, they were strictly liable for the defective product. Amazon argued that they are not liable because they did not distribute, manufacture, or sell the defective battery. On appeal, the court found that in this case, Amazon, put itself between the third-party seller and buyer, and therefore they should be liable for the defective product. The court reasoned that under these specific circumstances, strict liability was appropriate because it provided the victim with the highest level of protection, and there was no injustice to the defendants, because they could adjust their business practices with the third-party seller.

Have You Suffered Injuries Because of a Defective Product?

If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries or died due to a defective product, contact the experienced Florida defective product attorneys at Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada, P.A. The attorneys at our law firm understand the ever-changing and complex laws surrounding product liability cases, and pride ourselves on keeping apprised of relevant laws and trends in these cases. Using our skills, knowledge, and experience, we have successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Compensation in these cases often involve payments for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering. Contact our office at 877-448-8585 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.

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