Late last year, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the world’s largest retailer. And while Amazon continues to resist being characterized as a “retailer,” a growing number of people injured by defective or dangerous products sold through Amazon contend otherwise and are seeking to hold Amazon liable for those injuries.
My firm has several such cases going on. We’re currently litigating cases involving injuries caused by an exploding laptop battery (a case eerily reminiscent of the Bolger v. Amazon case), injuries caused by a defective facial steamer, injuries caused by a dangerously designed scooter, and others. And we are not alone. A quick check of the court dockets shows an ever-increasing number of lawyers filing an equally increasing number of personal injury or product liability cases against Amazon.
As a quick example, here are a few of the cases that are pending: E.K. v. Amazon.com Services LLC, Case No. 21-cv-7604 (C.D. Cal.) (serious injuries to a young child caused by button battery that fell out of writing tablet purchased from Amazon); Kase v. Amazon.com, Inc., Case No. 2:22-cv-00446 (E.D. La.) (injuries caused when defective ladder bought off Amazon broke while plaintiff was climbing down); Hernandez v. Amazon.com, Inc., Case No. 2:21-cv-17876 (D.N.J.) (child suffered bad injuries after swallowing ball shaped magnets that were part of a fidget toy purchased from Amazon); Adkins v. Amazon.com, Inc., Case No. 3:22-cv-00083 (S.D.W.V.) (death of an elderly woman caused by defective heated pet bed acquired from Amazon catching fire); and Xue v. Amazon.com, Inc., Case No. 1:21-cv-01007 (W.D.N.Y.) (serious injuries caused by electric facial cleaning tool). And that’s just a sampling. There are several more cases like that out there.
Lawyers filing these cases should be aware that Amazon will remove any case it can to federal court. Astute readers may notice all the cases cited above are in federal district court. That’s no accident. Amazon has made clear its preference to have any personal injury or product liability case against it heard in federal court if possible. In fact, many of those cases came to my attention through Amazon’s filing a notice of removal.
This is not a trend I see reversing. Sadly, people will continue to buy defective products that find their way into this country through Amazon and other similar online marketplaces. And lawyers will continue to file cases against Amazon as a result of that. But that’s not a bad thing. Greater accountability leads to greater safety.