Tag Archives: Amazon-eBay

Delivery

Negligent Undertaking Claim Against Amazon May Succeed Where a Products Liability Claim Fails


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In Johnson v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. 4:22-CV-04086, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59196, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas held that Amazon.com, Inc. (Amazon) can be liable for negligent undertaking claims when products sold on its website are defective.

In Johnson, the Plaintiff, Joshua Johnson (Johnson), purchased a bathmat on Amazon. The bathmat was designed, manufactured and sold by Comuster, a Chinese entity. Nine months after purchasing the bathmat, the bathmat shifted while Johnson was taking a shower and caused him to fall. Johnson sustained a severe cut on his arm that required surgery and left significant scarring.

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Strict Standards for Strict Liability Claims


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In Homesite Ins. Co. a/s/o Adam Long v. Shenzhen Lepower Int’l Elecs. Co., Ltd., No. 6:23-CV-981, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22002, the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (the Court) considered whether Homesite Insurance Company (the Carrier) sufficiently pled a strict products liability claim against Shenzhen Lepower International Electronics Company Ltd. (Shenzhen). Finding that the Carrier’s complaint did not plausibly allege a strict products liability claim under any of the three available theories of liability, the Court granted Shenzhen’s motion to dismiss the Carrier’s complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Continue reading

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I Spy Claims Against Amazon


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A federal court in West Virginia recently ruled that a negligence claim could proceed against Amazon related to a spy camera used to take unsolicited photos of a teenage girl.  M.S. v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. 3:23-cv-0046, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 213236 (S.D. W. Va. Nov. 30, 2023). The negligence claim is specifically interesting for subrogation professionals as it potentially provides an additional avenue for recovery against Amazon in addition to a product liability claim.

In 2021, the plaintiff, M.S. (a minor), visited the United States as a foreign-exchange student.  During her stay, she lived with Darrel Wells, a 55-year-old man. Mr. Wells purchased a spy camera that was disguised as a bathroom towel hook on Amazon. The camera was listed for sale by an unknown third party and satisfied through the “Fulfillment by Amazon” program.  The product description showed the camera serving as a towel hook with the caption: “It won’t attract any attention[:] A very ordinary hook,” as shown in the photo below from the pleading.

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This entry was posted in Negligence, Products Liability, Subrogation, West Virginia and tagged , , , , , .
Signing Agreement

Amazon Can be Held Strictly Liable as a Product Seller in New Jersey


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On June 29, 2022, in N.J. Mfrs. Ins. Grp. a/s/o Angela Sigismondi v. Amazon.com, Inc., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115826 (Sigismondi), the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey held that Amazon.com, Inc. (Amazon) is a “seller” under New Jersey’s product liability statute and can thus face strict liability for damages caused by products sold on its platform. Although the analysis is state-specific, Sigismondi may serve as an important decision for allowing product defect claims to proceed against Amazon when so often the third-party vendor that lists the product is unlocatable, insolvent, or not subject to the jurisdiction of United States courts. Continue reading

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Title or Possession Required . . . Louisiana Court Rules That Amazon Is Not Liable for a Defective Product


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Courts continue to disagree as to whether Amazon is liable for defective products sold by third parties on its website. Amazon does not neatly fit into the traditional definition of “seller” in products liability law, which historically involves conveying title or possession of the product to the customer. Although Amazon often is involved in the sale of and/or logistics for third-party products, Amazon does not pass title to the customer and sometimes never touches the product. It is crucial for subrogation professionals to understand the ways in which third-party products are sold on Amazon because it is often a determining factor for courts in defining Amazon for purposes of products liability. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Louisana, Products Liability and tagged , , .
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Amazon Avoids Liability (Again) for Defective Products Sold by Third Parties Through Its Website


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On June 25, 2021, the Texas Supreme Court held that Amazon cannot be liable for defective third-party products sold on its website, even when Amazon controls the transaction and delivery of the product, because Amazon never relinquishes or holds title to the products. This opinion should result in the reversal of a prior decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas – which found that Amazon was a “seller” under Texas law – and causes further division in the jurisdictions in the United States regarding whether Amazon can be held liable for defective third-party products. Continue reading

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Amazon Loses (Again) . . . New York Court Rules That Amazon Can Be Liable for Defective Product


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New York has joined a growing number of jurisdictions ruling that Amazon can be liable for defective products sold by third-party sellers on its website. The rationale for New York’s recent ruling is based upon Amazon’s level of control over the sale of the product. There are three ways which products are sold on Amazon: (1) Amazon sells, processes and ships the product; (2) a third-party sells, processes and ships the product (i.e., Amazon does not take possession of the product); and (3) a third-party sells the product and Amazon “fulfills” the order by storing, processing and shipping the product through its “Fulfillment by Amazon” (FBA) logistical program. The FBA program has been the lynchpin in many of the recent decisions decided against Amazon, including a recent New York case. Under the FBA, the sellers store their inventory at Amazon’s warehouse until the product is purchased, at which time Amazon retrieves the product from its warehouse shelf, packages it, and ships it to the consumer. Accordingly, Amazon has significant control over products “fulfilled” through the FBA. Continue reading

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Nothing Personal – Missouri District Court Holds that Defendant’s Nationwide Retail Website Does Not Subject it to Specific Jurisdiction


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In Allied Ins. Co. of Am. v. Jpauljones L.P. & Tek Elec. Co., 1:19-CV-00237-SNLJ, 2020 U.S. Dist LEXIS 179225, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri considered whether defendant Jpauljones, L.P. (JPJ) was subject to specific personal jurisdiction in Missouri because its website sold products to Missouri residents. The court held that the defendant’s nationwide retail website, with no particular focus or target on Missouri, does not in itself subject the defendant to specific jurisdiction in Missouri. This case further narrows the reach of specific jurisdiction based solely on the defendant’s direct internet-based sales into the forum. Continue reading

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California Appellate Court Rules Amazon Can Be Strictly Liable for Defective Product


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The California Court of Appeals recently ruled that Amazon.com, Inc. (Amazon) can be held strictly liable for injuries caused by a defective product sold by a third-party vender on its website. Bolger v. Amazon, D075738, 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 761. The decision in Bolger comes just two months after the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas reached the same ruling under Texas law in McMillan v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. 18-CV-2242, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102025 Continue reading

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Texas Federal Court Rules Amazon Can Be Sued for Defective Product


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Recently, in McMillan v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. 18-CV-2242, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102025, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that Amazon.com, Inc. (Amazon) could be held liable as a “seller” under Texas’ product liability statute for injuries caused by a defective product sold by a third-party vendor on its website. Although the court’s analysis is based on Texas law, the decision puts one more crack in Amazon’s armor. Continue reading

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