The debate has existed almost as long as Amazon itself. When consumers purchase goods from the mega online shopping site and become injured due to a defect, is Amazon liable for paying damages, or is the third party seller at fault? It is a question that has been raised in courts time and time again and depending on the jurisdiction and the specific facts of a case, the answer was always different, it seemed. Now, Amazon has brought an end to some of that debate, as the e-commerce giant has stated it will pay a portion of damages directly to consumers.
Amazon Will Pay Up to $1,000 in Damages
As of September 1, 2021, Amazon will now pay up to $1,000 in damages any time a consumer becomes injured by a defective product. According to the online retailer, claims valued at less than $1,000 make up approximately 80 percent of the cases.
Prior to this, Amazon has always maintained that injured individuals must reach out to the third party seller to collect damages caused by defective products. The company’s argument was always that it was the third party seller that was negligent by providing a defective product and that they are only a platform that connects sellers with buyers
One legal case filed against Amazon happened right here in Pennsylvania. That case involved a woman who became blinded in one eye after a retractable dog leash snapped back too quickly, hitting her in the face. That case settled out of court before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania could make a decision on Amazon’s liability.
When Damages Exceed $1,000
Although Amazon is now stating they will pay up to $1,000 in damages on claims, and that it is a minority of cases that are worth more than that, the amount is very little in many personal injury cases. When damages in a case do exceed more than $1,000, Amazon states they may provide more coverage. First, the consumer must contact the third party seller. If the seller then does not respond, or denies the claim, Amazon may step in and offer more coverage directly to the consumer.
To prevent the chances of this happening, Amazon has also created a network of insurance companies that can provide sellers with liability insurance that can help with these claims. In many cases, Amazon even requires certain sellers to purchase this liability insurance.
Call Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia Today
The news that Amazon will now pay damages directly to consumers is certainly good for shoppers, but that does not mean that all injured individuals will receive the justice they deserve. If you have been hurt by a defective product, our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin are here to provide the sound legal advice you need. Call us today at 215-515-6892 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.