When Texas consumers buy something through third-party vendors on the Amazon website, there is a question of who is liable if the consumers are injured by the product. For years, Amazon has been able to escape liability by saying that it is merely an intermediary and not the seller of the goods. When consumers could not track down the vendor, they were not able to recover.
Now, courts are beginning to change that doctrine and hold Amazon responsible for product liability lawsuits when people have been injured by goods sold on its website. The most recent ruling of this type was handed down in a federal court in Texas. In this case, the plaintiff’s child swallowed a battery that fell out of a television remote control, permanently damaging their esophagus.
Amazon had tried to get the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that it is not a seller. However, the court refused to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that Amazon is indeed a seller because it has control over the sale of the product on its website. In Texas, any time a third-party sells a product through Amazon, the consumer can sue both the actual seller as well as Amazon. Given the online giant’s deep pockets, it makes sense for an injured consumer to try to go after Amazon for damages rather than sue a small online seller.
Those who have been injured by things that they buy can receive financial compensation in a product liability lawsuit. These court actions can be fact-specific and may require expert and scientific testimony. Thus, injured consumers should hire a product liability attorney to help them file their claims in court. The attorney could draft the complaint and conduct the discovery in the lawsuit. If the defendant does not settle, the attorney may try the case in court.