business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Verge reports that the California Fourth District Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court opinion and ruled that "Amazon can be held liable for defective products sold on its Marketplace in California."

This decision, the story says, "could have dire repercussions for Amazon, which has argued for years that it only serves as an intermediary between buyers and third-party sellers on the Marketplace portion of its platform. That stance has protected Amazon from liability for Marketplace products, that is, until now. The company is now facing several other lawsuits over defective products in other courts."

Reuters reports that "both Pennsylvania’s and Ohio’s top courts are currently considering the issue, and federal appeals courts are weighing cases under California and Texas law."

Amazon has not commented on the ruling.

KC's View:

I would expect Amazon to appeal the ruling, but I hope it doesn't.

I believe it should have some level of responsibility for the products it sells.  Now, I know there distinctions that can be made and that this could open the company to billions of dollars in frivolous lawsuits.  So I get the appeal.

But … I think every retailer needs to take some responsibility for what they sell.