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The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. Your trusted legal advisors since 1976

Amazon Announces New Policy Amid 3rd Party Liability Claims


If you’re not familiar with this story, this is a little background information. Amazon was sued by several customers after a third-party product, in this case a hoverboard, caught fire and injured several children. Amazon defended itself by claiming that it is a marketplace, like a mall, and is not responsible for any of its vendors. The vendors alone are responsible for their products. If their products are dangerous and cause injuries, then the vendor is liable—not the mall.

The problem with that argument came into play after it became known that several customers placed reviews of the hoverboard on Amazon’s website indicating that the product was defective. Armed with information concerning a potentially dangerous product, Amazon knew that the product could cause injury. Amazon did not intervene. They allowed the company to continue selling their defective hoverboards.

Amazon was eventually ruled to be responsible for any items that it places into the stream of commerce. With this new ruling in place, Amazon has changed its terms of service, insuring its vendors up to $1,000 for product liability claims.

Amazon’s new policy 

The new policy insures vendors up to $1,000. In other words, if you file a claim against Amazon saying that you were injured by a defective product sold in their marketplace, they’ll give you $1,000 to settle the matter, but no more. Amazon, reportedly, will not seek reimbursement from the vendor, unless the amount is more than $1,000.

The new policy has been lauded as a major improvement. Amazon still maintains that they are not legally responsible for third-party products, but they’ve agreed to put a system in place that helps prevent such lawsuits. According to Amazon, somewhere around 80% of all product liability claims settle for $1,000 or less. By insuring the vendor, Amazon builds trust in their marketplace and prevents the vast majority of lawsuits from proceeding.

Before you take your $1,000 check… 

If you are injured by a product purchased by Amazon, you will be able to file a claim. Amazon will offer you a settlement amount for $1,000 or less. Once you accept Amazon’s $1,000, you may be barred from seeking further restitution. In other words, the $1,000 comes on the condition that any lawsuit filed over the matter be dropped, and that may include a separate cause of action against the vendor. Essentially, the $1,000 payment comes in lieu of anything you would recover during a lawsuit. So, before you walk away with your $1,000 check, remember that you may be entitled to considerably more money if you don’t accept the check.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Product Liability Attorney

 Accepting money from anyone but your parents is generally legally binding. Before you accept a $1,000 check, you should ensure that your wounds will heal with time and don’t impair your ability to do your job or enjoy your life. Call the Tampa personal injury lawyers at The Matassini Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our practice.


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